Rotary’s Grape Escape returns bigger than ever

March 17, 2015

For the Rotary Club of Issaquah’s ninth annual Grape Escape, organizers didn’t see any need to fix what wasn’t broken.

“We’ve taken a proven formula and just reapplied it,” co-chairman Scott McKorkle said.

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Get your taste on at Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz Thursday night

July 22, 2014

NEW — 10:15 a.m. July 22, 2014

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce presents its 26th annual Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz event from 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 24 at Boehm’s Candies, 255 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

Tickets are $40 and include signature dishes from local restaurants, wine and ale tasting, chocolate samples and more. This year’s featured jazz performer is Phillip Lomax, who competed on the television show “The X Factor.”

Tickets are still available. Get them here.

Attendees must be ages 21 and older.

The chamber also has available for $20 designated driver ticket, which includes everything but alcohol. Learn more by calling 392-0661.

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Boehm’s is set for a tasty night of jazz, chocolate and wine

July 16, 2013

Boehm’s Candies has already begun setting up for the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s 25th annual Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz event July 25.

Held at the Boehm’s Candies gardens for the 25th year in a row, the evening event will see various local restaurants, wineries, breweries, artists and art vendors providing their services. Jazz group The Scott Cossu Trio will perform at the event as well.

Ellen Martin, event and vendor manager, said excitement about the event is a testament to the support from the community.

“It grows each year thanks to community participation,” she said.

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Chocolate, Wine and All That Jazz celebrates triumvirate of tastes

July 17, 2012

Attendees at last year’s Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz enjoy the festivities at Boehms Candies. Contributed

Chocolate, Wine and All That Jazz is just around the corner and this year it’s bigger than ever.

Put on by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and Boehms Candies since 1988, the evening of wine, food and jazz in the gardens at Boehms is set to be twice as large as past festivals.

“Whether it’s entertainment and apparel or arts and crafts and all kinds of various wines and fares,” said Laura Walker, event organizer, “we were trying to make it a little different and unique from all the other wine-tasting events while showcasing Issaquah businesses.”

Tickets include entry, a souvenir wine glass and plate, and food and drink samples from all the various vendors. Booths featuring Washington wines and samples of favorite dishes from local restaurants will be set up around the chocolate factory’s garden. Attendees will also be serenaded by the three voices of jazz trio Tish, Hans and Phil.

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The Herbfarm: From farm to table to Issaquah

June 28, 2012

The most-lauded restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, a bastion in farm-to-table dining and a place possessed of more stars than the Milky Way, once added national prestige to dining in Issaquah — a city recognized for chocolates, root beer and little else.

The Herbfarm served slow-roasted salmon in zucchini blossoms, tarragon ice-topped melon soup and other creations from a space near Boehms Candies from May 1999 until April 2001. The restaurant then departed for more upscale digs at a bucolic Woodinville inn.

Tragedy led The Herbfarm to Issaquah. Fire destroyed the original Fall City restaurant in January 1997.

Owners intended to rebuild in Fall City and, in the meantime, selected the since- closed Hedges Cellars tasting room along Northeast Gilman Boulevard as the interim location for the restaurant.

The location presented challenges and, for diners during the Issaquah era, altered the experience. The garden tour, a precursor to meals in Fall City and Woodinville, went on hiatus while The Herbfarm operated in Issaquah, cofounder Carrie Van Dyck recalled.

The floorplan shielded the kitchen from the dining room, a departure from the open kitchen in Fall City.

Still, the restaurant reeled in diners — and accolades. The New York Times recommended The Herbfarm in a 2000 travelogue and national magazines clamored to feature the Pacific Northwest menu.

The menu is ever-evolving to reflect changes in seasons and themes.

“We never serve the same thing,” Van Dyck said. “You could come to the same theme year after year and have a different experience each time.”

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Made in Issaquah

June 28, 2012

Go ahead, sample some local products.

Boehms Candies

Boehms Candies

In 1956, Julius Boehm opened Boehms Candies in Issaquah, 17 years after the former Olympian fled Nazi-occupied Austria.

The iconic chocolatier offered a taste of Issaquah to chocoholics attracted to the city to see candy makers in action.

Nowadays, the chalet-inspired chocolate factory turns out caramels, cordials, truffles and candy bars in a distinctive gold wrapper.

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120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.


  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.


  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.


  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.


  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.


  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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Longtime Issaquah chef Lynn Rehn rolls out food truck

March 27, 2012

Lynn Rehn stands beside her My Chef Lynn food truck, advertising its ‘fast, fresh, fabulous’ sliders, soups and salads, featuring items from Issaquah businesses Fischer Meats and Boehm’s Candies. By Greg Farrar

Lynn Rehn is poised to turn the phrase “fast food” inside out.

The popular caterer and longtime local chef is ready to roll out a food truck to serve sliders, chili and a side of sass. Double D Clam Chowder, anyone?

The mobile operation for Rehn’s My Chef Lynn outfit is the latest endeavor for the former Sweet Addition head chef. Rehn plans to join the food trucks each summer Saturday at the Issaquah Farmers Market. The truck could also stop at the Fremont Sunday Street Market.

The idea for a food truck started to coalesce after Rehn and husband Tony, general manager at Evergreen Ford in Issaquah, caught episodes of “The Great Food Truck Race” — a Food Network cross-country competition among mobile kitchens.

“I looked at Tony and said, ‘That would be a cool gig,’” Rehn recalled.

(“The Great Food Truck Race” debuted in August 2010 at about the same time the national fervor for food trucks accelerated into gear.)

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What 10 qualities set Issaquah residents apart?

February 21, 2012

Issaquah inspires a deep affection among residents past and present.

Perhaps the connection is because the city stands out among cookie-cutter Eastside suburbs. (Bummer, Redmond.)

Residents can rattle off at least a dozen reasons to love Issaquah, although even outsiders can recognize the charms. Only locals can offer a snapshot into the authentic Issaquah experience.

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Issaquah businesses target tourists for attractions, events

October 25, 2011

Issaquah leaders often describe local qualities as treasures — a quaint downtown, mountain panoramas, historic buildings and more.

Local businesspeople describe such attractions as “tourism assets” all set for out-of-town guests to enjoy and, in the process, spend dollars in hotels and restaurants.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce officials gathered representatives from local “tourism assets” Oct. 18 to discuss successes and opportunities to lure more tourists to the area.

Leaders from artEAST, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Village Theatre, and other Issaquah attractions and events, said attendance is strong, but sometimes people overlook local offerings.

“Tastin’ N Racin’ — unfortunately — is Issaquah’s best-kept secret,” event organizer Craig Cooke said. “Nationally, it’s not. There are events in 13 other states that have all called and patterned their event on what goes on on land and what goes on in water.”

Tastin’ N Racin’ attracts 20,000 people — and sometimes up to 50,000 — to Lake Sammamish State Park each June for hydroplane races and onshore offerings.

Other long-established attractions face a similar challenge in luring potential tourists.

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