History of Le Chene
The Rock House (aka Castle Oaks Garage) Becomes Le Chene. Le Chêne French Cuisine is a popular “destination” restaurant on Sierra Highway near Agua Dulce. The restaurant has been delighting customers with fine food and wines for 30 years.
The translation of the restaurant’s name “le chêne” means “the oak”. This area has always been noted for its beautiful, centennial, oak trees. Starting in 1917, there has been a long tradition of naming businesses operating at this location after these magnificent oak trees.
The stone building where the Le Chêne restaurant is today has stood proudly for 87 years. The site was originally developed by the Dodrill family in the early part of the last century. William Arch Dodrill was born in 1888 in Stevens Creek, Lancaster County, Nebraska. His grandparents had emigrated from England and settled in Virginia. His grandfather was in the Revolutionary War, was captured, escaped, and changed his name from Dodridge to Dodrill in order to stay in America.
In 1987, Juan Alonso completely renovated the old garage area and turned it into a banquet room for special events. The kitchen was enlarged, and the whole building was brought up to earthquake code. In 1990, a new dining-room wing was added, and the bar upgraded. It was also the year the garden area was landscaped and planted.
Juan Alonso has established a vineyard adjacent to the restaurant producing truly excellent wines. This wine-growing area was just awarded its own appellation, Sierra Pelona Ridge. The restaurant has large underground wine cellars and boasts one of finest wine lists in California. Even the original mechanic’s pit had been used as a cellar to store wine but was filled in just last year.
The Le Chêne French restaurant will celebrate its 30th anniversary on September 8, 2019 exactly 30 years to the day of its original opening.
To read more about Le Chene’s history go to lechene.com/history-of-le-chene.
For more information, please visit Le Chene’s website, www.lechene.com, or call 661-251-4315 with any questions.
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