Riverside Tavern building, 1920s. (Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum)
Riverside Tavern (1920-1933)
Paul Holden built the single-story Riverside Tavern at the intersection of River and Taylor Streets, the current site of the Fall City Roadhouse. Washington State Archives list the date built as 1920. An old two-story house that had occupied the spot for many years was moved eastward, to the rear of the lot, to make room for the restaurant. Because of Prohibition, the Riverside Tavern could only serve food. It housed a fountain and coffee shop, specializing in plate dinners and specialty sandwiches. Adjoining the building was Riverside Campgrounds and a pavilion in which dances were held every Saturday night. A five-piece orchestra furnished the music.
In 1933, Mae Brown was the owner and she decided it would be a wise move to add some hotel rooms as a second story. She contacted Hugh Hinds, who had carved the Fall City Totem Pole earlier that year, to design the second story. Twelve tourist guest rooms, primarily for single teachers, were added on the second floor, and the name was changed to the Riverside Tavern & Lodge.
Riverside Tavern, c1933, shortly before the second story was added.
(Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum)
Riverside Tavern and Lodge (1933-1960)
With the end of Prohibition, the Riverside Tavern could serve alcohol, and the business continued under various owners. In the late '60s, George and Kitty Engford were operating the business, and decided to purchase the Riverside Tavern portion and move it to the current location, across 338th SE from the Model Garage. The Riverside Lodge, including a restaurant, continued to operate under various owners until 1966.
Signposts at Riverside Lodge, 1950
1954 ad in Rec Council news
The Colonial Inn (1966-2005)
Colonial Inn, 2005
Colonial Inn ad, not dated
After several owners came and went, Ed DeGrace acquired the Riverside Lodge building and business from Judy Johnson in 1966 and changed the name to the Colonial Inn. He initially operated it as a bed and breakfast. However, it wasn't long before the food business began to overtake the room income upstairs.
Ed remodeled some of the upstairs rooms into a banquet area and enlarged the dining room on the first floor. This arrangement provided the ideal setting for the supper club atmosphere, complete with live music. While working at the Colonial, Ed met Helen Godfrey, who lived in Fall City, but commuted to Seattle for work. They were married in 1973 and the Colonial Inn became a "happenin' place!" On her 29.5 acres in Fall City, Helen had two horses and several greenhouses, and later Ed and Helen raised 14 head of cattle on the place and a garden full of vegetables that were harvested for the Inn. Ed made his own corned beef, and Wednesday evenings they would run a special where everything that was served was from their garden and property.
Ed and Helen as Grand Marshals, 1995
On Sundays they offered a champagne breakfast, as well as live music all weekend long. This was Ed's opportunity to shine. Though he got dismissed from the church choir in third grade, he had always had a secret desire to sing. At the Colonial he had a captive audience. He and Helen used to sing a medley including "It had to be you!" Their organist made the place come alive and though people told Ed that if he would stop singing he could double his clientele, he didn't think it mattered since the place was already full to the seams. Another thing that put them on the map was 'all you can eat crab night' for $2.25. People came from all over to indulge in the fresh shellfish. They also had three hayrides a year, one at Christmas time. For more details, see the 2004 Fall City Newsletter article.
Ed and Helen, from 2004 Newsletter article
After nearly 25 years at the Colonial Inn, Ed and Helen DeGrace retired in 1990. Ed retained ownership of the building, but leased the business to others. Will Fortier operated the business briefly, followed by Lyle and Kia Geels, who have fond memories of their years at the Colonial Inn. Under their management, it was much enjoyed by the community, and many friends followed them to the Raging River Café, which they started after the Colonial building was sold.
Fall City Roadhouse
Fall City Roadhouse, 2008
In 2005 Scott Krahling of Sammamish purchased the Colonial Inn building and business from Ed DeGrace. Charlie and Leslie Kellogg of Fall City soon bought a 40% share in both the building and the Inn portion of the business. Extensive renovations were begun, taking much of the building down to the studs, with select original elements such as windows and wood floors retained. Major work included an improved septic system, seismic upgrades, and installation of a sprinkler system. Scott engaged Sue Gentry Interior Design to help with design of the main floor. Scott and Charlie renovated upstairs, with Leslie doing design and furnishing for the Inn rooms. The businesses re-opened in 2008 as the Fall City Roadhouse (shown above in 2008). Leslie initially promoted and managed the Fall City Inn, but this was taken over in 2009 by Scott. In 2010, Krahling bought out the Kelloggs' partnership share in the building and Inn business.
Scott operated the Restaurant from July 2008 to August 2016. During 2014-2016, Scott's wife, Larkin, took a very active role in managing the Restaurant and Inn. Larkin added many historical photos during this time. They also began promoting Twin Peaks events.
Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn
The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn
In August 2016 Rob and Debbie Rosemont bought the Fall City Roadhouse business, including the Inn, from Scott Krahling. After teaching history at Skyline High School for 15 years, Rob was looking for a new challenge. Living in the area and having friends in Fall City, he was familiar with the business and the potential it had to become an "iconic location." He and Debbie made a number of changes, including new wall and ceiling colors in the dining room, and making the seldom-used banquet room upstairs into a Pub/Party Room, with big screen TVs, a pool table, and pub seating. They re-branded, with new signs on the building (see photo above), as The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn, giving equal weight to the Inn part of the business. Each year Rob continued the "Twin Peaks" connection by hosting the kick-off and closing parties for the Twin Peaks Annual Festival the last weekend in July.
The current business owners, Cynthia Heyamoto and John Manning purchased the business from Rob Rosemont in September 2018. Cynthia and John had worked several years for Scott, and then with Rob. Cynthia was Catering and Events Manager and John was Executive Chef. With their many years of experience, they are excited about now having the business in their own hands.