Pasquale’s evolves into Cornerstone

Hood River ale houses announce changes

May 25, 2005

Pasquale’s Ristorante, a familiar gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, will be recieving a new look and new menu during the next month. The well-known restaurant, located in the Hood River Hotel on Oak Street, is in the process of becoming Cornerstone Cuisine.

“This is the last leg in a five-year plan,” said Patricia Byrnes, accounts manager for the Hood River Hotel. The plan that she’s talking about involves a complete renovation of the hotel — most of which has already been done, but generally remains unseen by locals. “Pasquale’s is a meeting place for locals, so this is what the locals will see the most,” she said.

Pasquale’s Ristorante was named for Pasquale Barone, the man who renovated the restaurant in 1988-89. With the recent attention surrounding Barone’s legal difficulties with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, people may be quick to assume that the restaurant no longer wanted to be associated with him; but Byrnes says that this is not the case.

“Pasquale was actually at Bite of the Gorge when we presented the idea,” she said. “He was delighted to hear about the change, and I hope he’s back by the time we open.”

Although the idea was only recently unveiled, it has been in the works for a while. “When I started here three years ago, I could tell that people wanted change,” said executive chef Mark Whitehead. “We started changing from Italian foods to more Northwest flavors, and since we are no longer an Italian restaurant, the name ‘Pasquale’s’ doesn’t fit.”

Lunch and dinner menu items include “Cornerstone Seafood Station,” offering a choice of two out of five options, Reuben sandwich, crab cake sandwich, turkey focaccia, gnocchi, blackened shrimp penne, chili honey-glazed salmon, and peppercorn rubbed New York steak.

The transformation from Pasquale’s to Cornerstone Cuisine will be gradual, and the restaurant will not close at all during the remodel — in fact, the customers are actually redesigning the restaurant themselves.

“The diners have been directly involved with the remodeling,” said Byrnes. “We would show them different colors during dinner and ask them which ones they liked. It’s really the diner that’s redesigning.”

The diners are not only helping select the colors and decor, but they also helped name the new restaurant. “We had a bunch of names that we were leaning toward, and Cornerstone wasn’t one of them,” said Whitehead. “But someone wrote it in on one of the ballots and it started to catch on. Eventually, it went to the whole staff, and that’s what we decided. We’re still a historic building, and we want to keep that. The name suits it.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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