Giddy-up meets gourmet at the Round-Up’s 1910 Room.
In its second year, the pop-up, arena-side restaurant will offer rodeo-goers a true VIP experience, complete with custom cocktails, top-notch food and elegant ambiance.
Returning Chef Max Germano of Portland will prepare Northwest-inspired cuisine, fused with Moroccan and Asian flavors. Crispy spare ribs, smoked chicken, spiced lamb meatballs and pulled pork steam buns are just a few of the items slated for this year’s menu. Many feature a signature ingredient: whisky.
Round-Up sponsor Pendleton Whisky helps coordinate the 1910 Room and its cocktail menu. This year’s signature cocktails went through several taste tests. The Rodeo Julep, Midnight Mule, Horse’s Neck and Gunslinger Gimlet all contain Pendleton Whisky or 44 North Vodka.
Serving as Germano’s kitchen staff is a group of Pendleton High School Culinary Arts students, supervised by teacher Kristin Swaggart. The students do everything from prep to table service.
“It gives them a practical hands-on experience of what the real culinary world is like,” said Round-Up General Manager Casey Beard, who oversees the 1910 Room.
Their professional-level operation in the 1910 Room’s inaugural year helped Swaggart earn the Farmer’s Insurance Dream Big Challenge and a $100,000 grant. She used that money to fund a state-of-the-art food truck, which will be on-site for this year’s dinner.
The youths’ involvement also fortified their relationship with the Round-Up Association. A donation from the association provided them with funding for updated classroom kitchen facilities. The students are also eligible for scholarships sponsored by the association.
For diners, the VIP experience starts before they even get to the table. A special entrance ensures they don’t have to wait in long lines.
Guests can choose between private and shared tents, with ticket packages ranging from $150 to $5,000.
All tents offer full restrooms, air conditioning and a rustic-chic country look. A decorating committee fills the space with Instagram-worthy details.
The tent’s arena-side location offers exceptional views. Beard says it’s the best seat in the house for watching Indian Relay Races and the third turn of barrel racing. A few strategically placed TV screens allow guests to watch instant replays and hear the commentators.
Guests leave with a customized souvenir. Last year, that included engraved flasks and copper mugs.
The 1910 Room was dreamed up by the Round-Up Association after an old pair of bleachers in the south end of the arena were deemed beyond repair. The team, always looking to attract new Round-Up audiences, wanted a unique foodie experience.
“We had people who’d never been to a rodeo before,” Beard said. They weren’t displeased. Many are coming back this year. By July, ticket sales had already exceeded last year’s 209.
For more information visit pendletonroundup.com.