Business

Fall City Inn mingles old and new charms

Opening the entry to the newly opened Fall City Inn, co-owner Leslie Kellogg displays the modern look and amenities at the historic lodging place.  - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Opening the entry to the newly opened Fall City Inn, co-owner Leslie Kellogg displays the modern look and amenities at the historic lodging place.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Lovingly restoring a piece of Fall City history for the benefit of today’s diners and travelers, the owners of the Fall City Inn are inviting locals to see what the newly opened establishment has to offer.

Featuring seven rooms with modern appointments, but keeping much of the charm of its past, Fall City Inn opened to guests on Friday, Oct. 10. The Inn sits atop the Fall City Roadhouse in the former Colonial Inn overlooking Fall City and the Snoqualmie River.

Two open house events, allowing visitors to check out the inn’s rooms and enjoy happy hour bites at the Roadhouse, are planned for 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 and Thursday, Nov. 13.

The two-story inn is exactly what visitors think they’re going to find when they come to Fall City, co-owner Leslie Kellogg said.

“It’s the grand lady of the town,” she said.

Rooms range from $110 to $145, and feature WiFi, iPod docking stations, flat-screen televisions, and artwork created by local artists. Kellogg said the inn functions as a gallery space for local artists.

Rooms are meant to cater to residents who may not have guest rooms for visiting family, as well as to travelers who come for summer activities such as arts workshops, yearly festivals and conventions.

Restoring the building this past year was a labor of love. The owners spent extra money to keep the original wood floors and maintain the original style of the windows, only now with energy-efficient glass.

“We’re trying to be honest,” Kellogg said. “This is a great piece of Fall City history.”

Fall City focus

The building is one of the focal points of Fall City, according to local history buffs.

Research by Fall City historian Jack Kelley states that the building started as Riverside Tavern in 1925, owned by Paul Holden. Next door were the Riverside campgrounds, where a pavilion held dances every Saturday night.

The eatery served hungry travelers on their way up the Sunset Highway, which was the windy highway equivalent of Interstate 90 in those days.

At that time, the crossroads at Fall City thrived with travelers. The big dances at the Inn and vicinity still bring out stories from people who stop at the Roadhouse.

“It had a great, warm, welcoming spirit,” Kellogg said.

In 1933, owner Mae Brown decided to add motel rooms as a second story, creating the Riverside Tavern and Lodge. In 1966, new owner Ed DeGrace changed the name to the Colonial Inn.

Before reopening as the Fall City Roadhouse last summer, the building was vacant for two and a half years.

New beginnings

The place’s new lease on life came after contractors from Orchard Street LLC poured effort into the renovation last year, adding seismic upgrades and bringing the building down to studs in spots.

The restaurant portion of the building, the Fall City Roadhouse, reopened in July.

“People are coming in that have visited the Colonial Inn for years and years, and are just blown away,” said Roadhouse General Manager Phil Hayter.

The restaurant has a classic look, and aims to provide high quality food from local sources with great service. The restaurant seats about 150 on the main floor, with a private dining room for 50 on the second floor. Next spring, the outside deck off the private dining room will have room for another 50 diners.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to bring in chef Cameon Orel,” Hayter said. “She’s got a great vision and palate for what we want to do.” Orel is working with local farmers to ensure that ingredients are fresh.

So far, the Roadhouse has garnered good response from the community, Hayter said. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, dinner is served 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with brunch served 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Happy hour is 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, though a seven-day-a-week happy hour is being considered.

To learn more about the Roadhouse, visit www.fcroadhouse.com or call (425) 222-4800.

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