Lake Creek Lodge creates new dining experience


Last updated 2/20/2024 at 9:35am

Photo by Sue Stafford

Lake Creek Lodge's new bar top is made from spruce planted near the lodge in 1935. They had to be removed due to their encroaching on the lodge foundation. The brand on the bar is a new logo for the lodge.

Amidst the quiet of winter among the pines, something exciting is building at Lake Creek Lodge in Camp Sherman.

Workers have been busy for months making upgrades and creating new spaces using very special local materials. The public will be able to see the changes to the dining room and bar as of Wednesday, March 6, with the bar opening at 4 p.m. and the dining room at 5 p.m. Reservations are encouraged. Operating days will be Wednesday through Sunday, through early November.

Not only are there visual improvements, but a whole new menu will provide gastronomic delights to tempt your taste buds, with the full menu available when the bar opens.

Food and beverage manager, Paul Mercer, will be a familiar face to those who frequented the popular Kokanee Café, formerly located in Camp Sherman, and at Sunriver. Those familiar with Mercer's previous ventures, can attest to the delectable Northwest cuisine presented with creative elegance, accompanied by a select wine list. He also owned The Pig and Pound, a British gastropub, for 12 years in Redmond's Centennial Park.

Chef Sean Hulecki, who opened the restaurant and roof top bar at the renovated Redmond Hotel, was previously at Pronghorn Resort and the Four Seasons in Carlsbad, California. He and his two line cooks will be busy in the kitchen preparing Pacific Northwest cuisine made from locally sourced foods including produce and meat from local farms, salmon caught by Native Americans, and when available, bison from a Central Oregon bison ranch. There are plans for an onsite herb garden.

Diners will be able to choose from three different portions. Small plates will run $10-$18 and large plates, including an entrée and sides, will be $20 - $35. On the ala carte menu there will be a choice of six proteins from rib eye steak $38 to fresh steelhead $32. There will be a choice of seven side dishes and eight sauces. Attention to detail is apparent down to the authentic wasabi made from a root vegetable grown on the Oregon Coast. Mercer said most wasabi is actually a mustard.

Save room for desserts created from scratch by the in-house pastry chef who will also create breakfast pastries to accompany morning coffee and tea, breads, and flat breads.

This first season, only dinner will be served as the staff gets everything running smoothly. Mercer hopes to be able to offer weekend breakfasts next year. Catering for weddings held at Lake Creek Lodge will also be available in 2025 for rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions.

The dining room is refreshingly light with the addition of new hanging Tiffany lights and uplighting on the recently raised ceiling. There will be room for 44 patrons seated at tables crafted from lumber salvaged from a "large ponderosa on the property that was killed by a lightning strike and was in danger of falling on the lodge," according to Lake Creek owner Gordon Jones. The tree had been stored, to be used in a future project for the lodge. Visible in the tables are the tree's grain and knots as well as tunnels made by insects.

"The bar top is made from Engleman spruce that had been planted on either side of the lodge entrance in 1935. They had grown so large, and were so close to the building, that they were blocking out all light, and their roots were lifting and damaging the foundation," explained Jones, so they had to be removed and stored.

There will be four pine tables in the bar and six seats up at the bar. The backbar is lined in burnished copper that catches the light through a side window. All the woodworking was done by Bryce Bebout of Bebout Industries in Portland.

The kitchen was remodeled several years ago, but even there, the history is evident in the original wooden door on the walk-in cooler. There will be three servers/bartenders and in June, bussers and dishwashers will join the staff.

Jones, who has owned the lodge for over 20 years, and recently moved to Sisters, plans to use the familiar rawhide chairs that have been a fixture for decades, out on the deck this summer, which will also be available for drinks and dining. Eventually, he would like to sell the chairs to people with fond memories of time spent at the lodge and donate the money to Black Butte School. To add to the nostalgia, they will be branded on the back with LC with a pine tree in the middle. All the new tables will also be branded.

Mercer and lodge general manager, Forrest Houl, explained they are "modernizing the dining and bar facilities yet retaining the century-old ambiance with quality materials." They and Jones envision Lake Creek Lodge as a center for Camp Sherman, a community resource, with everyone, not only lodge guests, gathering for coffee and pastries, a beer or drink, dinner, and a good conversation. Everyone is welcome to this casual venue, but shoes and shirts are appreciated in the dining room and bar.

Reservations can be made by calling 541-588-2150. The lodge is located on the right, on the road from Highway 20 into Camp Sherman, across from McKenzie Meadows housing development, 13375 SW Forest Service Road #1419, Camp Sherman.


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