Photos: The 'T' comes down, Tully's celebrates with free coffee

Photos: The 'T' comes down, Tully's celebrates with free coffee
Tully's removes their iconic 'T' after years atop the Old Rainier Brewery Building. Plans to erect a new 'R' are in the works and will be taking it's place in the coming weeks. September 30th 2013. (Joshua Lewis / KOMO News)

It's not often that a company celebrates the removal of its own sign -- but then, Tully's, which is under new ownership, is doing a lot of unexpected things. To commemorate the removal of the Tully's "T" from atop of the old Rainier Brewery building, the company gave away free coffee to onlookers until 11am.

The Tully's "T" was removed to make room for a reproduction of the old "R," which once graced the top of the building. The new "R," which is being built by Western Neon, is modeled after the original, which lives at MOHAI in South Lake Union.

To celebrate the removal of the "T," the Tully's on Airport Way will be offering free coffee and barista beverages (limit two per customer) to customers who stop by to watch the process. 

Green Mountain purchased Tully's bean distribution business and brand in 2008. Then, in 2012, Tully's Coffee (a separate entitey, which owns and operates the the Tully's cafes) filed for bankruptcy in 2012, at which point, interested investors began bidding on what was left.

Actor Patrick Dempsey was initially a lead investor alongside investor Michael Avenatti, though the two, who were partners in both business and automobile racing, parted ways late last month. Avenatti has since been the public face of the purchase, noting that, in order to survive, the struggling company needs to shed their decade-long "obsession with beating Starbucks."

Rainier Beer is no longer brewed at the old Rainier brewery building, though the Emerald City Beer Company renovated part of the building in 2010 and have been brewing there ever since, and the building still bears the once-local brew's name.

The "R" will be replaced in October; Pabst, who brews Rainier Beer, have announced that they'll be throwing a free party that will be open to the public.