Bentley’s Grill celebrated our 8th anniversary last month. We opened in August of 2005 as part of the Grand Hotel in Salem and Salem Convention Center (formerly named the Salem Conference Center) complex.
Here is a little history about Bentley’s Grill.
It all began in 2001, when Phoenix Inn owner VIP’S Industries, Inc., a regional hospitality company, bought the block in the heart of downtown Salem where the Marion Hotel once stood. The Marion Hotel opened its doors as the Chemeketa House in 1870 and was billed as the finest and largest in North of San Francisco, with all modern improvements. Through the years the Marion Hotel was the Meeting Place for business people in the Salem area. The hotel hosted legislators and lobbyists visiting the Nearby state capital. Early one morning in 1971, it all ended in a tragic fire.
In March 2005, Salem realized its twenty year vision of a downtown Conference Center complex to create opportunities for larger regional events in Salem. The Grand Hotel in Salem, originally named Phoenix Grand, and the Salem Convention Center opened their doors in the exact location of the Marion Hotel’s historic site. The next step in their plan was to include a fine dining establishment for locals and travelers here to explore and discover Salem’s historic downtown.
Since the day we opened our doors in August 2005, our mission has been to offer residents and visitors to downtown Salem a fine dining experience in a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere. Chef Derek Ridgway has played a vital role of us fulfilling this mission since has been with Bentley’s Grill since our inception in 2005. Before arriving in Salem, Chef Ridgway’s extensive culinary career had received praise from local and national critics including Gerry Frank, the Wine Spectator and from the James Beard Foundation.
Chef Derek Ridgway’s innovative menu has always centered on Pacific Northwest ingredients like Oregon bay shrimp, Rogue Valley bleu cheese, Oregon hazelnuts, fresh seafood, seasonal salads or choice steaks. Our show kitchen offers our guests an opportunity to see our chefs at work.
Chef Ridgway moved to Salem from San Diego, where he served as Executive Chef at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel. His culinary career also included serving a Director of Food and Beverage at The Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert and as Chef/Partner at Silas St. John in Kensington.
Eight years later, our restaurant has earned a reputation as being one of the finest in Salem, Oregon. Many of our original servers and kitchen staff are still here with us today. Managers Bill Sheldon and Sherry Miotke make sure that our service is friendly and knowledgeable. Soraida Cross and our Wine Steward Mark Jacklich ensures that our lounge and wine bar features the Willamette Valley’s largest array of premium liquors and one of the most extensive Oregon Wine menus in the region (we have over 40 wines by the glass and 200 by the bottle).
In our eight year history, we were among the first restaurants in Salem and Marion County to be recognized for our eco-friendly practices by becoming EarthWISE certified through Marion County’s EarthWISE program! Our restaurant has received several awards from the Statesman Journal Best of the Mid-Valley, 2013 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, we have been featured in Wine Spectator Restaurant’s Annual Dining Guide, OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Awards, Oregon Wine Press Superior Cellar Award, and more!
We are also known for hosting the best Mardi Gras, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in town! During a recent renovation, we expanded our private dining space to accommodate holiday parties, bridal and baby showers, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, reunions, meetings, graduation and birthday parties and more.
Thank you to all of our staff and guests who have made this a great 8 years! Here’s to another 80 more!