The wild game hot spot Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella Blvd., took advantage of having its dining room closed during the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade some of the interior and exterior.
Before reopening for in-house dining May 19, the restaurant spaced out tables, upgraded the outdoor landscaping and renovated the bar area.
The plans for the remodel began at the tail end of last year, and despite the pandemic impacting the restaurant financially, the plans were kept in place.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic began and business was heavily impacted, it wasn’t an ideal time to take on such a pricey project,” owner Donnette Hansen said in a news release, “but we were committed and decided to see the silver lining in that we could do the work without disrupting diners.”
The major changes include new flooring, a cork wall and ceiling covering, velvet bar-height banquettes, bar tables, leather barstools, custom-made light fixtures and sound system.
The centerpiece of the area has long been the “Tied Fly Bar,” a one-of-a-kind, 20-foot wood sculpture carved from a single Basswood tree that depicts life in a flowing trout stream. The bar, created in 1993, is now enhanced with directional lighting and a bronze-mirrored ceiling above so the carvings can be seen throughout the bar area.
The new bar is completed with a new bar menu, which includes new items like the Masala-spiced Duck Tenders with sweet and sour savoy cabbage and curried yogurt, and Hot Buttermilk Chicken Sliders with house-made pickles and hand-cut fries.
In the bar and dining rooms, in order to avoid handing out one-time-use wine lists, Rainbow Lodge has printed a QR code on all menus which guests can scan with their camera phone, without having to download an app, and be taken to the online wine list.
Since last week, the restaurant’s in-house dining hours have been 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
Rainbow Lodge asks guests to wear masks when they enter the restaurant and until they are seated at their table, and put the mask back on when they are leaving.