Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Halsingland to close after 19 years

 

June 27, 2019



It’s the end of an era for fine dining in Haines.

Hotel Halsingland, Haines’ oldest white-tablecloth eatery, will not open its restaurant or lounge this summer, owner Jeff Butcher said.

Jeff and Shannon Butcher, who have owned Hotel Halsingland for nearly two decades, said the decision will help them prioritize renovations and eventual sale of their property.

“It’s not easy,” Jeff Butcher said. “It’s a bit of a pain in the heart.”

Longtime diners called Hotel Halsingland’s food unique and the atmosphere high-class.

“You just felt like you were in another time zone with the elegant room, big windows, fine plates, silverware and wine,” regular diner and friend Mike Marks said.

Shannon—the “brains of the kitchen” in Jeff’s words—sought culinary invention from international travels. The two spent their winters gleaning menu inspiration from trips to Thailand, Israel and Spain.

Everything from authentic Japanese ramen made from scratch to Israeli-style hummus to a Spanish charcuterie and cheese plate appeared on the menu.

“She would always do special crazy things every now and then,” Marks said.

What some residents called gourmet, Butcher just called “good food.” Over the years, chefs from New York to Los Angeles have come to work with Shannon in Hotel Halsingland’s kitchen, he said.

Fellow restaurateur and lifetime resident Christy Tengs-Fowler said she “absolutely loved the duck confit,” a dish slow-cooked in its own fat. “I’m known to have frequently left there with five to-go boxes,” Fowler said.

The Halsingland Hotel will still host guests in their century-old property through October, when they close for the season. The Butchers said they will continue to operate the hotel until its eventual sale, though the property isn’t yet listed.

This summer, they hope to tackle reroofing, replacing flooring and exterior painting.

“We are aware of the love that people have for the food (Shannon’s) produced,” Butcher said. “We’re discussing maybe having a local’s night. We’re discussing how to get Christy another duck confit sometime in her lifetime.”

 
 

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