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Posted on Feb 12, 2015

Cave B is a welcoming retreat in our backyard

When Scott Teuber takes his wife out to dinner this Valentine’s Day, he won’t be traveling far to enjoy a romantic five-star dinner.

The owner of Wild Horse Campground, Teuber and his wife, Cindi, will be heading down the road to Cave B Inn and Spa. In fact, the two are regulars at the resort and its Tendrils restaurant, visiting two to three times a month.
While Cave B is known for attracting visitors from the west side and beyond, Teuber wants locals to know that they are missing out if they don’t enjoy this gem in their backyard.

“We go because it’s close and we’re comfortable there and they treat us great,” Teuber said.

Cave B is a wonderful place to enjoy a Sunday brunch or lunch, especially with visiting family and friends, said Teuber, who added that locals receive a 10 percent discount.

One local tip is to have dinner on Tendril’s deck during concert season at the adjacent Gorge Amphitheatre. While Cave B’s guests are at the concert, you’ll be enjoying dinner and listening to the concert, Teuber said. (Just be sure to leave before the concert ends, to avoid the traffic, he added.)

“Anybody who hasn’t had dinner on the deck at Cave B is missing out,” Teuber said.

Now back in full swing for the 2015 season, Cave B is reminding local people that it isn’t just for visitors. In fact, it wants to be a place the locals consider their own.

Executive chef Tyler Krost leads Tendrils restaurant at Cave B.

Executive chef Tyler Krost leads Tendrils restaurant at Cave B.

“I would like Cave B to be a place where locals want to spend their special occasions and it’s their place of choice to take a break from everyday life,” said Carol Bryan, who owns Cave B with her husband Vince Bryan. “We want local organizations and businesses to see Cave B as a resource available to them. We are happy to be able to provide a place where good things for the area can happen.”

Leading the Cave B staff is general manager Mark Nudelman, an experienced manager who recently marked one year at the helm of the inn and spa.

“Mark brings passion and professionalism to his job at Cave B,” Bryan said. “He describes himself as an innkeeper, and, indeed, he can be seen regularly interacting with guests and making them feel welcome and at home.”
Nudelman said recently that he has a passion for resorts; he enjoys helping people relax while also anticipating their needs.

Caveb, hiking

A pair of hikers heads down the nature trail at Cave B toward the Columbia River.

He also believes he’s found a good match for his expertise and experience in Cave B. It’s a unique and tranquil property sitting there atop the basalt cliffs above the Columbia River, and the owners understand that; they are not trying to make it something it isn’t, he said.

“They have been a delight to work with because they love the area so much,” Nudelman said.

The Bryans purchased the spectacular property along Silica Road in 1980. They came to the area from Seattle with dreams of building an estate winery. They purchased several hundred acres of land there in the Columbia River Gorge and began planting vineyards. Cave B Estates Winery was not built on the land until 2000, and the inn followed in 2005.

While the inn over the years has had its ups and downs, in September, for the first time in its history, Cave B became totally self- and locally managed, Bryan said.

“As a small, independent boutique hotel, Cave B is particularly vulnerable to the ups and downs of the economy, the vagaries of the weather and seasonality,” she said. “There has been a lot of trial and error determining the best way to structure the business given these realities, but we now feel that all that is behind us and look forward to seeing Cave B thrive under its new leadership and self-management.”

Today, Cave B employs about 70 people, many of them graduates of Quincy High School, Nudelman said. In fact, about 70 percent of his employees live in the area, he said.

An interior look of a posh Cave B yurt.

An interior look of a posh Cave B yurt.

“All of the managers under Mark are from Quincy – the room manager, sales manager, catering manager and the majority of our line staff are also from either Quincy or George,” Bryan said.

Tendrils this season is rolling out a new menu under its new executive chef Tyler Krost, who previously worked at Il Fornia in Seattle, Bryan said.

Nudelman wants local people to not only enjoy Tendrils, but to also take advantage of the only spa in the area that’s open daily. The Cave B spa provides everything from hair and makeup appointments to facials, massages and body wraps. It also offers “Treatments from the Cave,” a signature treatment that uses materials indigenous to the Cave B land, including basalt and river stones, lavender, grape juice and seeds.

Nudelman reminds people that Cave B is an easy getaway. The resort has 30 rooms among its inn, cliff houses and dramatic cabin rooms that are built up against the basalt rock. There are also 25 posh yurts for people looking to enjoy a king-sized bed under the stars.

Cave B also has two meeting rooms for business and corporate meetings. Some groups come out just to use the beautiful lobby, Nudelman said. And, of course, the resort is a popular wedding location.

Nudelman added that locals can enjoy the same amenities that visitors travel from around the state to get to, whether that be live music on Fridays and Saturdays, hiking the nature trails down to the river, relaxing at the spa or fine dining and wine tasting.

Or, come to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful vistas, Nudelman said. Cave B is a place where your senses can absorb the stunning surroundings while tasting the award-winning wine that comes from its ground.

“Even though only 20 minutes from Quincy, Cave B has a unique environment that makes one feel that you have taken a trip far from home,” Bryan said.

 

— By Jill FitzSimmons, editor@qvpr.com

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