"Romantic setting and the best meal I had in town."- The L. A. Times
"35 Years and counting. A Gorge icon for destination dining"
Here’s the story…
Stonehedge Gardens was built in 1898 by the Skene family, owners of a large Portland lumber mill. Materials were barged up the Columbia River over the span of ten summers. Primarily a summer getaway, first full-time occupants moved into Stonehedge in 1928; the Pattison family, founding members of the famous Crag Rats Search and Rescue, lived here until they sold it in 1973. Their children still eat here today, and their grandson was married here a few years ago.
The commercial renovation completed by the new owners, Joan and Connie Smith, took almost three years. They enclosed the patio, and added the rear kitchen, bar and wine cellar. Stonehedge Inn opened in 1977 to rave reviews, developing a loyal customer base from Seattle to Portland and throughout the Gorge.
Jean Harmon, a local “retired” schoolteacher, bought Stonehedge Inn from the Smiths and ran it successfully for another thirteen years, winning numerous culinary awards and providing a haven for top-notch chefs, including Mark Dowers from Caprial’s and the late-great Chef Patrick.
Mike and Shawna Caldwell bought Stonehedge from Jean in 2000. They added all of the stone terraces and walkways over a three-year-span and completed the wedding grotto and waterfalls in 2007. Mike was a former student of Jean’s at Hood River Valley High School. And, coincidentally, a former prep cook in the kitchen at Stonehedge during high school. He stuffed twice-baked potatoes for hours, which he swears will never be served at Stonehedge again—maybe.
Mike was the Director of Food & Beverage at the Columbia Gorge Hotel for a number of years and then the Cellarmaster at Flerchinger Vineyards (now Cathedral Ridge) for several more years after that. He wrote “Varietal Tendencies” while working at the winery. The surprise success of the novel allowed them to open their first restaurant, North Oak Brasserie, in downtown Hood River (which is still open nightly and serves the best lunch in town;-) His wife, Shawna, our amazing pastry chef, was an art teacher at Hood River Valley High and a wonderful, self-taught cook. Together, with a large family and a great staff they invite you to stroll the new terraces, loosen up and enjoy.