Whoopemup shows some leg -- frog, that is

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Feel like frog legs? Hop on over to Whoopemup Hollow Caf?©, which has added new items to its menu, changed its hours and is on the verge of its fifth anniversary.

Visitors can now drop in six days a week to the Waitsburg restaurant that specializes in Southern comfort food at 120 Main St. Through October, the Whoopemup will operate 3-9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, said dining room Manager and co-owner Ross Stevenson.

While they're at it, they can order up a few new items, including pork ribs with a jerk sauce and yam croquettes.

Along with Stevenson, Whoopemup owners chef Bryant Bader and pastry chef Valerie Mudry will celebrate the restaurant's fifth anniversary May 21.

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Banner Bank has honored eight local employees in the company's annual awards ceremony that recognizes exceptional performance.

The Walla Walla-based bank lauded 59 employees from across the Pacific Northwest as recipients of the company's Banner's Best, Production Club and Real Estate Leaders Club awards for 2009, according to an announcement. The awards recognize those who exceed personal and bankwide goals and deliver superior customer service.

The Banner's Best award is given to employees who have excelled in customer service and surpassed their specific business goals. The six recipients of the 2009 Banner's Best award from the Walla Walla area include: Vice President/Risk Management amp; Compliance Officer Kathyrn Maag; Vice President/Real Estate Secondary Market Manager Jeannine Stanke; Vice President/Real Estate Loan Servicing Administration Manager Penne Locati; Senior Vice President/Controller Bill Jenkins; Vice President/Walla Walla Tri-Cities Retail Division Manager Cyndi Wood; and Senior Vice President/Internal Audit Manager Mike Powers.

The Production Club award recognizes Personal Bankers and Tellers, as well as back office support staff who positively impact production and excel in customer service. Personal Banker Andrew Goss was the local recipient.

The Real Estate Leaders Club award acknowledges employees within the Real Estate Lending Division. Vice President/Real Estate Loan Officer LaRae Martin from the Walla Walla Residential Loan Center received the award.

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Yellow Hawk Cellar is bidding adieu. The 12-year-old Walla Walla winery is stopping production and closing its doors, according to a sign on the tasting room window at 343 S. Second Ave.

The winery was started by winemaker Tim Sampson and Barbara Hetrick. An advertisement on the closure said the full wine inventory is available at "dramatic discounts" effective immediately.

"To our loyal customers and our community, 'Thank you,'" the ad states. "We have been honored to share our love of Italian wine varietals and bring pleasure to your tables. Now it's time for us to stop production and close Yellow Hawk Cellar." For more information call 529-1714.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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