Jun 27 2014

Reunion at the Greenbriar Inn | Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Late one July afternoon as soon as the evening breeze began to blow off our beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, and older gentleman checked into our Inn.

Maybe it was because he seemed so tired, that I lingered a little longer, talking to him.  He seemed to want a friendly ear, as he had not yet seen his relatives.

As his story unfolded I learned that he had recently recovered from a bout of cancer.  He mentioned he had been once married but he had been divorced for six or seven years, and then he fought a long health battle without the benefit of his wife, whom he obviously missed.

Over the next day or two it seemed that he was warming up to Coeur d’Alene.  His daughter’s family and life in general.  He brought my little girl some flowers one afternoon and some chocolates.

He rented a car and explored the Lake.  He took a charter fishing boat and brought back a big salmon which he shared with us for dinner one night.

A few days after his arrival, another single woman checked in.  As I greeted her at the door, I noted she had flown in from Miami.  Very well dressed, reserved and soft-spoken, I feared that maybe she would not be so comfortable in our family run B and B, and asked how she had come to hear of us.  She said her daughter had made arrangements for her to stay with us.

I checked our reservation book.  I saw her reservation was made by the same woman who was also the daughter of the older gentleman guest.  I paused to think how to handle this.  Was this the ex-wife that had been so wistfully described to me?  Did she know that he was here?  I didn’t have to wait very long for an answer, as the daughter came behind her mother, with her father at the door.

As I stood there watching these two people take in the full meaning of their predicament I watched embarrassment, anger and bewilderment which passed like shadows over their faces.  I retreated to the kitchen and awaited a verdict.

After about ½ hour the gentleman came downstairs to ask for ice so he could mix some drinks in his room, he said.  That was the last that I saw of either of them for the rest of the day.

The next morning at breakfast, they each appeared and chatted animatedly to our other guests.  This routine went on for two days.  On the third day the gentleman came down to speak to me in private.

He seemed embarrassed, as he explained he would like to cancel his ex-wife’s room reservation, not because she was leaving, but because she was going to share his room.  I explained to him that whatever he did in that regard was fine with me, and not a concern.  He muttered something about not being married, and shuffled off.

Five days later, they finally did check out, but not before telling me they made a wedding announcement to their family!

It seems that the desperate plan had worked.  They thanked me profusely for our hospitality and promised a wedding picture.  I have seen this couple several times since then and hear from them every Christmas.  They have fond memories of Coeur d’Alene, and I of them.

 


Jun 19 2014

The Tridentine Church – 315 Greenbriar Inn History

Over the past 30 years since the Greenbriar Inn came into being, many many people have come to the door to share stories of their memories of this house.

Roughly each decade since it was built in 1908, this facility has changed ownership, and thus it also changed in use.

During the 1970’s it was owned by the Tridentine Church, which was basically a spin-off of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Tridentine or “Latin Rite” Church believed, among other things, that mass should be said in Latin, not the native tongue of the country in which the Church found itself.

Many families left the Catholic Church and came to the Spokane area to practice their faith in a more traditional manner.  The Tridentine Church bought up many properties in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, and this house was one of them.

During that time, over thirty “nuns” lived here, and wore a blue habit instead of the traditional black and white one.  They could be seen walking all about Coeur d’Alene.  In addition, they ran a pre-school here, and when the McIlvenna’s purchased the building in 1984 they found diapers, baby clothes and toys scattered about the house.  At that time, the house had been vacant for about three years.

Many of these babies and toddlers have revisited the house and shared their memories of learning and growing here.  As adults, they still seem very fond of the place and the memories that it held for them."Nuns Tridentine Church Coeur d'Alene"

The “nuns “ in the doorway on the second floor.  The third floor front bedroom was a chapel.  The main floor was the preschool.


Jun 13 2014

Forbes Write-Up | 315 Martinis And Tapas

Here is the Forbes write-up as it appeared:

“Speaking of menus, 315 Martinis and Tapas in Coeur d’Alene has perhaps the most innovative and original of the region. Owners Bob and Kris McIlvenna brought the concept of tapas, small portions of exquisite delicacies, to North Idaho. The stuffed portabella mushrooms are rivaled by the Ahi tuna and crab cakes as tapas favorites. Although the tapas are the restaurant’s namesake, the entrees offer equally rich and distinctive choices. The duck comfit is served over a bed of marinated wild mushroom duxelles and huckleberry chutney that will be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.”

“315 Tapas and Martinis is located in a restored house turned bed and breakfast at 315 Wallace Street in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The historic building also has one of the most colorful stories imagined, having transformed from bordello to nunnery to family home before eventually becoming one of Coeur d’Alene’s most respected gourmet restaurants. The low lights and vintage furniture convey a warm ambience, highlighting the rich mahogany paneling and classic fireplace. On Friday and Saturday nights, you are likely to hear soft blues and jazz performed live.”

“Cocktails at 315’s martini bar offers the perfect complement to your choice of tapas. Run by mixologists who pride themselves on handcrafting each beverage, 315 incorporates fresh herbs into its cocktails. The bartenders make their own bitters and extracts, and have been known to put creative twists on classics, such as a famous bacon-infused Bloody Mary.”


Jun 6 2014

Recent News

This winter was a good one for the Greenbriar Inn of Coeur d’Alene, a fine dining establishment, called 315 Martinis and Tapas, the Bed and Breakfast Inn, and Greenbriar Catering!

The restaurant won the best Tapas Award in the Wine, Stein and Dine competition, and their bar and two resident mixologists, Ryan Roberge and Michael Irby, won People’s Choice award for best martini in two separate competitions.

In addition, Greenbriar Catering won best caterer North Idaho for the fifth year voted by Spokane Living Magazine readers, and silver place in the reader’s choice awards for the Coeur d’Alene Press!

Last week they received a 2014 certificate of excellence award from Trip advisor, an online travel guide, and in fact the restaurant was also featured by Forbes in their well-known Forbes Travel Guide.


Apr 21 2011

Awards in 2011

Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award, 2011!!
Best Girl’s Night out North Idaho-N.I. Business Journal 2011!!

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