Monday, November 29, 2010

Rockin' Rio Nido: October happenings

Below, please find the column my neighbor Elena Chronis and I wrote for the Sonoma County Gazette's October issue.

Rockin' Rio Nido
by Elena Chronis and Elisabeth Parker

Fall is Falling

As Halloween approaches, the warm days of Indian summer give way to a brisk chill in the air and soft autumn rains, while leaves on the local trees and grapevines display their bright, fall colors. Most of our summertime residents have returned home, but some continue visiting on weekends to enjoy this lovely time of year.

Fun-Raising at the Rio Nido Roadhouse

The RNR hosted two entertaining and successful fundraisers last month for the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Guerneville School. They’ve also launched a new and improved menu, and hosted a fun “Halloween Howl” party with the Poyntless Sistars on Oct. 30th.

The Sisters threw their fabulous Celebrity Pie Throw on Oct. 2. This afternoon of fun and frivolity featured Sister Savior Applause and Sister Sarah Femme as the MC’s, and local notables – including Valerie Munthe, Dax Berg, Vicki Herman, Jennifer Neeley, Katrina Thurman, and Rio Nido’s Doug Misner and Brad Metzger – as the “pie faces.” As usual, the Sisters’ glitzy dresses and elaborate makeup were colorful, beauteous works of art. Proceeds went to the Sisters’ Grant Fund, which donates money to worthy local organizations.

Guerneville School parents Lori Babcock, Kristin Boland, Jaime Wilson, and Jenny Zapp organized a fun-filled 2nd Annual Spaghetti Cook-Off on Oct. 17th, featuring an assortment of exciting raffle prizes, savory sauces from 20 contestants, and a hearty dinner. Despite the cool, drizzly weather, the event drew approximately 160 people and raised over $3000 for school programs. Once again, Walt Perkins took first prize with his “Mama Nona’s” hearty Sicilian sauce.

Rio Nido Lodge Seeks Business Tenants

If you've always dreamed of having your own store-front, coffee shop, gallery, studio, mini-mart, laundromat, wine tasting room, B&B, or other business, join Pegasus Theater and rent space at the historical, centrally-located Lodge for as little as $1.00-$3.00 per square foot. The Lodge offers ample parking; easy access from River Road, and; strong year-round and summer demand for products and services.

Dennis Judd from Cipora Properties reports that updates and repairs will be completed within the next few months, and that move-in bonuses are available to those renting larger spaces (depending on the use and proposed improvements). Cipora Properties also has an option to purchase the acre adjoining the lodge and the front parcel at the entrance of Rio Nido. For more information, visit or call (707) 824-9313.

Where’s Mama Tina?

In case you've missed Tina Eliason from the Roadhouse, we want you to know that her home-made ravioli venture has proven so wildly successful that she no longer has time for serving and bartending. Look for “Mama Tina’s” assortments of flavorful, pillowy delights at Speer’s Market, local farmer's markets, and fine eateries throughout Sonoma County.

Finally … a CONVENIENT Convenience Store!

Vijay Sharma and Johit Kumar recently purchased the gas station/mini-mart on River Rd. and renamed it Guerneville Food and Gas. They’ve already begun remodeling and plan to install a deli and – eventually – sell beer and wine. It may take a while (this is Sonoma County, after all …). In the meantime, enjoy their coffee and yummy breakfast burritos. We look forward to having a high-quality convenience store in walking distance.

Winter Holiday Happenings

Don’t miss the Merchant Open House and Tree-Trimming Ceremony on Dec. 3rd in downtown Guerneville for a festive evening of great shopping, refreshments, and caroling. We can’t wait to enter another Rio Nido Float in Guerneville’s upcoming annual Holiday Parade of Lights on Dec. 4th! This year’s theme is “World Dance Celebration.” If you want to participate, please contact us. If you’re looking for inexpensive, edible holiday gifts, grab some gourmet nuts and candies from our local Girl Scout troop – they’ll have a booth in front of Safeway during the first three weekends of November.

Got news? Email Elisabeth Parker at and Elena Chronis at