New ski-themed restaurant Stumptown opens downtown
Marissa Keenan and Sam Dauenhauer have opened Stumptown restaurant on Spokane Avenue downtown. The ski-themed restaurant serves beer, wine and an apres food menu. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)
The Stumptown restaurant has a ski theme, which is highlighted in several art installations built and imagined by owner Sam Dauenhauer. One area features a ski archway with a wall of local Whitefish family ski photos. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)
The Stumptown restaurant has a ski theme and includes local photographs by Patrick Muri. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)
Stumptown restaurant on Spokane Avenue serves beer, wine and an apres food menu. The establishment also has a selection of retail wine and beer. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)
Whitefish Pilot | December 29, 2021 1:00 AM
Family ski photos placed on one wall, an arch of skis and a wall of tiny plastic skiing figurines, paired with comfy couches and industrial metal tables.
Stumptown creates a feeling of both a cozy ski hangout and an art gallery.
Owners Sam Dauenhauer and Marissa Keenan, creators of Sweet Peaks Ice Cream and Wild Coffee Company, recently opened the restaurant and lounge on Spokane Avenue by reimagining the space of the former Stumptown Marketplace multi-vendor market.
The couple has taken their passion for food and ice cream, along with Dauenhauer’s artistic talents, and transformed the space into a ski-themed restaurant.
“We wanted to come up with a concept that we wanted to see in the downtown,” Keenan said. “We really saw a need for a larger indoor gathering space. We enjoy wine and we enjoy beer, and we enjoy good food, and we enjoy the Whitefish mountain ski culture — so we wanted to put all those things together to see what would happen.”
The space includes at the front of the building a bottle shop designed for purchases to drink in-house or to go, along with curated merchandise. In the center is a wine and beer-focused lounge with apres food ranging from charcuterie boards to fried chicken, along with macaroni and cheese and Stumptown’s own french fries. The wine selection involves a variety of labels from across the globe and is expected to change with the seasons.
“We wanted to provide wines that are different than what’s available already,” she said. “We’re creating apres snacks that are elevated. It’s creating a place to come after a day on the mountain or a day in Glacier Park.”
The lounge also features the unique champagne ski — a champagne version of the shotski designed for three patrons to drink champagne together from glasses on a ski.
At the back of the space is a smaller seating area with a fireplace leading out to a patio with outdoor dining. The area has been set aside to be the center of the weekend Snowbunny concept beginning in January. The weekend waffle brunch menu will expand offerings to include espresso drinks, frozen rose and champagne and mimosa options.
Kennan says the Snowbunny is designed to provide a fun weekend activity before hitting the slopes.
“It’s designed for those looking to grab chair seven rather than first chair,” she says with a laugh.
The ode to Whitefish mountain ski culture is throughout with unique art installations built and imagined by Dauenhauer. The walls are also adorned with local photographs by Patrick Muri.
“The building is huge and we really wanted to use the design to create an experience and a certain vibe,” Kennan said.
As with their other businesses, the couple plans on collaborating with and supporting local winter sport-focused nonprofits. In the future, Stumptown hopes to host many local events including fundraisers, parties and ski movies.
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, which now includes several locations, opened in 2010 and Wild Coffee Company in 2019 both in downtown Whitefish.
Stumptown is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with extended hours expected in the new year, as well as the opening of Snowbunny. For more information, visit Instagram @stumptownwinebar and @snowbunnywf or email firstname.lastname@example.org