Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Warm Springs staff sings swan song

Express Staff Writer

Warm Springs Ranch Restaurant, one of Ketchum's most popular dining spots and watering holes for approximately five decades, was quiet Tuesday during an otherwise busy spring. The restaurant is scheduled to close this weekend before it is razed and replaced by a new building. Photo by Willy Cook

The final week of business at one of Ketchum's most enduring restaurants is being marked by a flurry of sentimental dining.

"It's been busy," said Warm Springs Ranch Restaurant manager Pam Ebertz. "It's been busy this whole month."

Thursday, April 27, marks the last time plates of fish, sides of scones and heaping desserts will be brought out of the busy kitchen. Drinks will continue to be available at the bar Friday and Saturday.

Plans are in the works for a new restaurant, but if it comes to fruition, patrons will likely have to wait a year or more for its completion.

Steve Roth, owner of Sun Valley Ventures, the company that in 2003 bought the 77-acre Warm Springs Ranch property, said he has tried to keep the original restaurant open.

However, according to an assessment by project architect Jim Ruscitto, the building is not salvageable.

"I think most of the workers are resigned to the fact that it's closing," Ebertz said. "Like everything, it must to come to an end."

Ebertz said the restaurant staff is seeing many familiar faces.

"There have been people who haven't been coming in for a long time," she said, "just to get in their last meal."

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