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New owner of Caterina Winery ready for reopening

Caterina Winery celebrates its grand reopening Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

New owner Don Townshend, of Townshend Cellar, has remodeled and revamped the tasting room and released four new wines.

Sample the new offerings – 2008 Chardonnay, 2007 Merlot and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley, and a 2008 Viognier from Willard Family Vineyard – paired with hors d’oeuvres during the opening celebration.

Winery manager Jen Westra says the wines were made with 2007 and 2008 Townshend juice, although the finished wines have a different profile than Townshend’s signature offerings.

The winery also previously released two wines made by original Caterina winemaker Mike Scott (now of Lone Canary): a 2001 Willard Family Vineyard Merlot and a 2001 Willard Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Spokesman-Review wine columnist Paul Gregutt liked the new releases, writing about them in his Jan. 27 column. Find his tasting notes at

Caterina will continue to operate separately from Townshend Cellar, with Townshend collecting the first harvest as a winemaker for Caterina later this year.

The winery, 905 N. Washington St., will be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and will begin regular tasting room hours next week, Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Reach the tasting room at (509) 328-5069.

New owners at Checkerboard

Keith and Janice Raschko, owners of One World Café, have added the Checkerboard Tavern to the family.

They’re celebrating with a grand reopening next Wednesday. Janice Raschko says they’re planning a 4 p.m. celebration as part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the recently formed Spokane International District.

She says they hope to preserve the history of the tavern – which was established in 1933, just after Prohibition – while bringing environmental practices and organic food to the menu.

The Checkerboard has the distinction of holding a liquor license longer at one location than any other establishment in Washington, owners say.

The new menu is inspired by English pub food and includes a Newcastle Shepherd’s Pie, Reuben sandwich, a Sonnenberg’s banger in a bun and sweet potato fries served with Cajun or maple-cinnamon ketchup.

There’s an optional vegan menu, too – think Tofurky sausage, vegan burger and pizza, and a Mediterranean plate.

The Raschkos are making way for a few local brews on the taps, including Golden Hills, Laughing Dog and Northern Lights, but popular domestics remain. Lone Canary wine is offered.

Find more information online at or call (509) 568-9004.

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