Lodmell Cellars adds tasting room at downtown hotel

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Another winery will join the cluster of tasting rooms at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

Lodmell Cellars, which has operated at the Port of Walla Walla incubator complex, will open a second tasting room in the lobby of the historic hotel this winter.

Construction is in the works on the space, said Kristie Lodmell, a partner in the family-owned winery.

She said Walla Walla architect Jon Campbell has been working on the project. Construction is likely noticeable to those traveling west on Rose Street past the hotel.

The new tasting room will be located in suite 104. Lodmell Cellars is one of several wineries with tasting rooms at the Marcus Whitman. Others include Tero Estates & Flying Trout Wines, Don Carlo Vineyard and Locati Cellars.

Lodmell Cellars opened at the incubator buildings in 2007. Andrew Lodmell serves as vineyard manager and winemaker for the operation he owns with his sister Kristie and her husband, Randy Kirlin.

Many Walla Wallans may recognize the area of the new tasting room as the old entryway to the Yellow Submarine and The Faucet.

Kristie Lodmell said dual tasting rooms will likely operate for a period.

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Public House 124 will debut a new brunch service Saturday.

The downtown Walla Walla pub located at 124 E. Main St. will feature six dishes and an array of morning mixers on the menu.

Details were posted on the operation's Facebook page. Brunch prices range from $8 to $15 per dish. Choices include pork belly Benedict, chicken-fried steak, Dutch babies and traditional eggs and bacon. Mimosas, greyhounds and Bloody Marys are among the numerous morning drink choices.

Brunch will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Since Public House 124 opens at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, the regular menu is also available at that time, said Matthew Price-Huntington, who co-owns the pub with business partner Jim Sanders.

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Owners of the M-F Drive In Theater will close their 50th season in business at the end of this weekend.

"Moneyball" and "Abduction" will be the parting features before the big screen goes black for the winter, operators announced on Facebook.

The double feature begins at dusk at the theater, 84332 Highway 11. The final showing is a wrap for a milestone season.

Area residents Dick and Loretta Spiess became owners of the drive-in in 1961.

The business has become a multi-generational family operation, with their children and grandchildren helping run the show. For more information visit the business's Facebook page.

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

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