Famous restaurant to leave Snoqualmie Valley
October 2, 2008 · Updated 3:26 PM
FALL CITY Since the 1997 fire that destroyed the Herbfarm in
Fall City, the owners of the restaurant have been trying to reopen the
world-class Valley eatery. But, after years of
frustration and delays, owners Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van
Dyck have decided to move the business to Woodinville.
"We spent two years trying to rebuild and get the permits, but it
took way too long and cost way too much money," Van Dyck said. "So it
was more reasonable to relocate."
Their new restaurant _ the acquisition of which is still under
negotiation will be located next to Redhook Ale Brewery and the
new Willows Lodge hotel. The Herbfarm will occupy a one-and-1/2-story
building, with the 50-seat restaurant on the first floor and office space on top.
Van Dyck said they also looked at relocating the restaurant to
Newcastle, Kirkland or Stanwood, but the Woodinville location was available
the earliest. The relocated Herbfarm is scheduled to open in June.
The owners still plan to hold several classes at their new restaurant
and will share garden space with Willows Lodge to grow their ingredients.
As for the property in Fall City, Van Dyck said, they have to let it go.
"We hope someone wants to purchase the gift shop, gardens,
nursery and school," she commented. "We don't have a choice. We can't
afford to keep it because we lost money with the permits.
"The whole community is losing something of value," Van Dyck added.
Food critics and visitors from around the world have enjoyed
the Herbfarm's ever-changing menu since 1986. Since Memorial Day, the
four-star restaurant has been serving up its famous nine-course dinners at
Hedges Cellars in Issaquah. The Herbfarm proper - which also includes the
nursery, gift shop and school - has been in Fall City for the last 25 years.
Van Dyck said the company literally grew from her
"Lola [Zimmerman] had extra chive plants one year and she
couldn't bear to throw them away so she potted it and sold it," she said. "And
the following year she grew some extra ones on purpose."
Since then, the company has blossomed in the Valley. Now, the
owners hope to keep the Herbfarm's tradition going a little further to the north.
"We're excited about being able to have a space for a restaurant, but
we're very sad about having to leave," said Van Dyck.
To make a reservation for the Herbfarm restaurant in Issaquah,
call (425) 222-7103.