Uptown Wine Walk downtown to support aviary

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Downtown Walla Walla's uptown wineries have banded together in a fundraiser for the community's feathered friends.

On Friday, the five participating wineries of the Uptown Wine Walk will hold a raffle to benefit Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary.

The grand prize: 10 bottles of premium Walla Walla wine. That's two each from the participating wineries -- Charles Smith Wines, 35 S. Spokane St.; El Corazon Winery, 37 S. Palouse St.; Fort Walla Walla Cellars, 127 E. Main St., Sinclair Estate Vineyards, 109 E. Main St.; and Walla Faces, 216 E. Main St.

The wineries have been hosting a monthly Wine Walk as a promotion of the tasting rooms located between Palouse and Colville streets. Each month the Uptown Wine Walk will sponsor a raffle of wines from the group with proceeds benefiting a charitable community cause.

"We wanted to give the monthly event a purpose," said Rick Johnson, owner of Walla Faces, in an announcement. "What better way to give back to our community than to use our combined presence of the Uptown Wine Walk."

The wineries will feature live music, cheese to chocolate and wine throughout the event.

Tickets for this week's raffle are $10 each. The value of the grand prize is $350. The drawing will be at 8 p.m. during the Wine Walk at the Walla Faces tasting room. Participants must be 21 or older to enter and need not be present to win.

Raffle tickets are available at Walla Faces, Mandrakes Antiques, Sinclair Estate Vineyards and Fort Walla Walla Cellars. For more information, visit www.uptownwinewalk.com or call 877-301-1181, ext. 2.

The Holiday Inn Express is getting made over as part of a relaunch of the company's brand.

All of the public areas and rooms have been repainted, and the outside is next, according to details from the "Tourism Walla Walla Tribune, the monthly e-newsletter from Walla Walla's tourism agency.

Already a sign with the new logo has been posted at the property, 1433 W. Pine St.

According to the newsletter, each room at the hotel will have new Euro mattresses and 37-inch flat-screen televisions by May 1. After the crush of tourism season, the rooms will also be refurnished and have new accents.

CrossRoads Steakhouse & Catering is serving up some new lunch options and dinner deals.

The downtown Walla Walla steakhouse, 207 W. Main St., unveiled its "Lunch Express Menu," which features $8 dishes, including soda or iced tea. Included on the menu: an Italian melt, chicken pesto melt, steakhouse panini melt and "chop chop salad," among other things. For $10, the deal includes lunch, drink, tax and tip, said CrossRoads owner Kim Kelly-Frank.

The restaurant has also started featuring Dinners for Two. For $29.99, guests will receive a shared appetizer, one entree each and two desserts. The Dinner for Two is available Tuesday through Thursday and for an early seating 3-5 p.m. Fridays. For more details, call 522-1200.

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

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