Clarette's serves up new look

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Six months of updates, revisions and construction at Clarette's has made the Touchet Street restaurant feel like a whole different place, owner Bob Bennett said.

The remodel that began after Whitman College's graduation last spring is complete, and a grand re-opening celebration is in the works to show off the results.

The work included new restrooms, kitchen alterations, paint on the inside and outside of the building and -- what Bennett describes as the most exciting part -- a new decorating theme.

With the help of Spokane restaurant designer Gary Finch, Clarette's now has a turn-of-the-century arts-and-crafts design motif. Finch, who has worked for the last six years on refurbishing historic Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, chose three handmade wallpapers, along with friezes and borders, for each dining area. New lighting was installed, new carpet was added, and tile and period decorations were put in place.

"It's like having a brand-new restaurant," Bennett said in an announcement.

More details will come on the celebration that will cap the changes, he said. In the meantime, guests are invited to check out the new look. Clarette's, 15 S. Touchet St., is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

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South Fork Grill has cooked up a new website.

The menu, hours of operation and details about the Southgate restaurant, formerly known as CreekTown Caf?copy; at 1129 S. Second Ave., are now available online at www.southforkgrillww.com .

The live version couldn't come at a better time, said South Fork co-owner and Manager Jodi Worden. Not only can guests make reservations through the web, they can also order tamales and an array of pies and other desserts -- from praline pumpkin cheesecake to traditional apple pie -- for the holiday season.

The restaurant operates for lunch, dinner and a mid-day period Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information, call 522-4777.

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Walla Walla wineries helped raise more than $100,000 in therapy funds for children and families facing autism earlier this season.

A cellar of Walla Walla wines was one of the highest live-bid auction items during the benefit in Bellevue for Northwest Behavioral Associates in late October.

The wines were pulled together by Brian Hartley of Le Grand barrels. Winemakers Matt Erlandson of Fjellene Cellars, Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars, Jean-Francois Pellet of Pepper Bridge Winery, Casey McClellan of Seven Hills Winery, Holly Turner of Three Rivers Winery and Justin Wylie of Va Piano Vineyards each contributed signed magnums to the event.

Verticals from Charles Smith of K Vintners, John Abbott of Abeja, Gilles Nicault of Long Shadows Vintners, and Tom Glase of Balboa topped off the auction lot.

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A new dentist has joined the team at Basic Dental Care of Walla Walla at 2014 S. Howard St.

Dr. Rachel Deininger earned her undergraduate degree in 2004 from Walla Walla University and received her doctorate in 2009 from Loma Linda University, where she took part in dental missions in Nicaragua and Mexico.

She completed her residency at Walla Walla's Family Medical Center and most recently has lectured on healthy oral habits through The Moms Network. For more information call 525-4833.

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

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