Igo Inn Bought by Lewiston Couple

Chris Bennor and I met over a $50 kayak at the Igo Town Yard Sale on Saturday.

I told Bennor that if she didn’t buy it, I would. (My twin recently took up kayaking and I thought it would be fun to join her.)

Bennor said she was thinking of the kayak for one of her sons, but she really should be painting the “Inn” — not shopping at a yard sale.


“The Igo Inn,” she said. “We bought it.”

Great news.

The charming Igo Inn has sat empty with a for-sale sign out front for gosh, about two years now. If you’ve not been there, it’s a wonderful, historical International Order of Odd Fellows building that’s held many restaurants over the years.

Paul Trout was the last chef to work there, and before that, Roy Maloney, the building’s owner, ran a restaurant that served brunch and dinner.

Confession: I am madly in love with the Igo Inn. (Full disclosure: We Greenbergs even considered buying it.) I was so afraid someone would buy it and tear it down, or buy it and turn it into a storage unit or something equally horrific.

Now, I think the Igo Inn is in very good hands with Bennor and her husband, Rich Buck, who’s a chef. Right now, Chris Bennor, Rich Buck and their young family still live in Lewiston. But as soon as possible, they  hope to re-open the Igo Inn as a restaurant. They’re working on things like electrical, plumbing, painting, lighting and installing equipment, and they have a few other details to nail down.

I’m not worried. Chris and Rich are not newcomers to the food service business. Rich is a chef in Weaverville at La Grange Restaurant, and several years ago the couple leased and operated the Lewiston Hotel Restaurant. She said their premise is simple.

“He cooks very, very good food, ensures consistency, and we offer great service,” she said via email.

“We’ll probably be open Wednesday through Saturday evenings, full menu Thursday-Saturday, spaghetti and steaks on Wednesday. With the lovely location and great building, Rich hopes to do wedding receptions and other events.  He has extensive catering and event experience from his chef days in Bucks County, Penn., just north of Philly, so this is second nature to him.”

Welcome, Chris and Rich, to Igo. We can’t wait until you open the Igo Inn.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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