New Caroline’s offers improved service, elevated dining

PALISADE, CO–Wine Country Inn will launch its newly constructed Caroline’s Restaurant with a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Palisade Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 10 a.m.

Following a brief dedication, guests will tour of the new addition, which is located on the northeast corner of the existing reception building. They then will be invited to enjoy celebratory cake and punch in the recently reclaimed Orchard Meeting Room, which will feature historic photos selected by the Palisade Historic Society.

With the new space, Caroline’s can seat almost 60 diners and will be immediately adjacent to a new, state-of-the-art kitchen. Although the new design features a high ceiling and windows with views of the vineyards and the Little Bookcliffs, the décor has replicated the Victorian look of the original restaurant.

Caroline’s entry, which is East of the Inn’s main portal, will provide more convenient access for diner’s who may not be guests of the hotel.


“We have needed more capacity for some time, ” explains Restaurant Manager Katie Casetta. “By consolidating our food service into one dining room, we can offer more efficient service to more people and reduce the waiting time to be seated.”

Should there be a wait for tables, guests will be invited to have a glass of wine in the nearby Tapestry Lounge. Casetta points out that Tapestry Lounge will still serve a full line of cocktails, beer and wine along with small bites and bar snacks, but dining will be handled by Caroline’s. Tapestry also doubles as the service area for the hotel’s complimentary breakfast and afternoon wine reception.

The current plan is to offer an informal lunch in Caroline’s from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a more formal, “elevated” menu during the dinner hour from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 to 10 p. m. on weekends. Hours may adjusted for the winter season. Chef Dave Kassera’s new menus include vegetarian offerings and dishes with more affordable price points.

WCI General Manager Ian Kelley says the recent restaurant and ballroom expansions should alleviate some service pressures that evolved as business grew over the past 10 years.

“It’s all about improving the guest experience and providing the best possible customer service,” Kelley emphasizes. “The owners hope to get back on track with plans to build a winery and tasting room to the west of our hotel ‘once the dust settles’ from the recent project.”

In April, the Inn completed a renovated, expanded Vineyard Ballroom that can accommodate up to 200 guests for a seated dinner.

“We expect the ballroom renovation to yield sales dividends that we previously had to turn away because of our limited capacity,” explains Kelley. “We already are seeing increased inquiries for events although we haven’t promoted the new space extensively yet.”

Sales Manager Saunders Stewart is thrilled to see a muted palate that will be compatible with most event color schemes. The addition of two family restrooms is an added convenience.

“The ivory-on-ivory brocade wall covering is elegant and totally in keeping with our Victorian décor. Our brides are very pleased,” she adds. “And opening out onto our beautifully landscaped courtyard is an added bonus.”

Johnson Nathan Strohe in Denver, which is headed by founding partner Jim Johnson, are architects. Architect Jenelle Tennigkeit managed the project. Johnson was the architect for the original Wine Country Inn complex. PAFC, LLC, whose owners are Clark and Gene Atkinson, was general contractor. J & A Partners designed the interiors.

For more information contact:

Jean Tally
Ian Kelley 970-464-5777