The Tam’s Backstage story starts with a little history. And we believe that the history makes Tam’s Backstage even more unique and interesting.
Full of charm and character, Tam’s Backstage is located in the historical Cumming Public School building in the heart of downtown Cumming. The building was originally constructed in 1923. At that time, the building served as Forsyth County’s only school! Teachers “commuted” to Cumming by horseback each week. They would stay across the street at the Brannon-Heard House (then a boarding house) and travel back home on the weekends.
The structure has seen a lot of change in its lifetime to say the least. The Historical Society of Forsyth County recounts that the school house was rebuilt in 1927 after a fire destroyed the interior. Also, the school transformed itself as needs arose and served as a primary grade school, middle grade school and in its final operative years as the headquarters of the Forsyth County Board of Education. In 1999, the City of Cumming acquired the school.
“From the wooden floors to the exposed brick walls, our building still speaks to its deep history,” explains Kelly Tam. “In fact, in 2000 the building was named to the National Register of Historic Places.”
In addition to Tam’s Backstage, the Cumming Public School building is now home to The Cumming Playhouse and The Historical Society of Forsyth County.
Enter Brian and Kelly Tam. The two met working in the restaurant business many years ago – we’ll just say it was “back in the day.” From server, to general manager, to area director, they have grown up in the restaurant industry and know it inside and out. When the couple started their family, Kelly stayed home with the kids, and Brian got involved with opening new restaurant concepts in the Atlanta area. As their kids reached middle and high school, Kelly started a catering business serving Forsyth County and surrounding areas. One of her regular clients was The Cumming Playhouse.
In 2005, The Cumming Playhouse asked Brian and Kelly to consider opening a restaurant in the lower level of the school building that would serve theater attendees. The Tam’s jumped at the opportunity and began developing their concept. Initial ideas included a “school house” theme serving upscale sandwiches, soups and salads. However, as they spent time in the space they realized that its wine cellar feel lent itself to a completely different concept.
Enter Tam’s Backstage. Tam’s Backstage has a cozy, vintage atmosphere that builds off of its close connection with the Playhouse, located just upstairs. The scratch kitchen offers a flavorful blend of American cuisines punctuated with a northern Italian flair.
“We wanted to create a dining experience that featured the playhouse connection as well as the history of the building,” says Kelly. “There really isn’t another restaurant in the area like ours. Not only do we enjoy having theater-goers dine with us, but also families, couples on date night, and even the business crowd.”
We look forward to serving you at Tam’s Backstage. Sit back and enjoy the show!
In 2016 we opened our second restaurant in Forsyth County! Tam’s Tupelo features a “Cajun meets Memphis” cuisine and a “warm and breezy, slow and easy” atmosphere. With an amazing menu that is sure to please, you can enjoy a relaxing meal with friends and family.