Tom Drumheller imagined a lodge with all the glamor of wine country.
Comfortable rooms, a spa, library and intimate connections with the region's leading wineries.
It all came together last summer when The Lodge, an 82-room hotel, opened at Richland's Columbia Point — a collaboration between Drumheller's company, Escape Lodging in Cannon Beach, Ore., and 82 regional winery partners.
The Lodge opened in July and the team gathered for the formal grand opening in September. A few days later, Drumheller died following a short battle with cancer. He was just 64.
This week, Drumheller and his motto, "It will be fun," are again the star of the show.
Drumheller's Wine & Food and Vine, a full-service restaurant named for its founder and a wine bar, is opening at The Lodge to complete the investment that brought a luxury boutique hotel to the Tri-Cities.
Together, the newcomers showcase the best of the region.
Chef Pauline Garza is leading the kitchen. The Othello native grew up cooking for her family. Her professional interest took off during a family trip to Las Vegas, when she spent a day shadowing chefs at Emeril Lagasse's Table 10.
She studied business and hospitality at Washington State University and was the first to graduate from the hospitality program in the Tri-Cities. Career stops include stints in the corporate world at the Pasco Red Lion and later Richland's Three Eyed Fish and Lu Lu Craft Bar.
Garza returned to the Tri-Cities after studying in Italy and New York. She met Drumheller, who introduced her to Wendy Higgins, general manager of The Lodge.
The hotel opened in July 2017, but wasn't ready to open the restaurant to the public. Garza joined the team to provide breakfast and to cater events and the nightly guest-only wine tasting events in The Lodge's lobby-living room.
With the restaurant and wine bar, The Lodge is ready to serve the public, fulfilling its founder's dream.
"At the end of the day, this is what Tom wanted to do. He wanted to hang out with our 82 wine partners," Garza said.
With its second floor location, Drumheller's Food & Drink offers sweeping views of the Columbia River and the Richland Yacht Club. The decor is sparing but has "Tom touches" throughout. Staff wear customized bracelets with the message, "What Would Tom Do?"
Several of its vendors created food items in his honor, including a Drumheller gouda with wine from Walla Walla.
A series of intensely colored glass votive holders are a subtle nod to the solar system and are arranged on shelf Drumheller designed just for that purpose. They glassy planets were originally displayed in his office.
For Higgins, Drumheller's and Vine are an opportunity to showcase not only The Lodge, but the wines and agriculture of the Mid-Columbia.
Each of the 82 rooms is organized to reflect one of the 82 winery partners.
"There's more going on here than people realize," she said.
Garza's menu draws heavily on local and in season ingredients. She's making the most of the tail end of asparagus season, serving it with short ribs and as a side dish with fava beans, chives and a sauce of white wine and butter.
The spring menu includes seafood favorites such as dungeness crab and steel head with classics such as ribeye steak, short ribs and duck.
The Lodge is at 530 Columbia Point Drive. Drumheller's is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. daily and Vine is open off the lobby from 4 to 10 p.m. daily. Reservations are available through Open Table.