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Whistle Stop Gets New Conductor

By Amber Ford

Whistle Stop Gets New Conductor

After five years of Whistle Stop ownership, Marc and Debbie Accuardi are passing the Whistle Stop conductor’s seat over to longtime resident and service industry worker, Tekla Schmidt. Having served the Mt. Hood Villages locals and guests from all over, the Accuardi’s have chosen an exceptionally experienced and skilled captain to take over their establishment.

Having been in the service industry profession for over twenty years, Schmidt is not only excited to have the opportunity to have her own little slice of the mountain, but to now officially call home one of her long-time favorite bars on the mountain. “I love the Whistle Stop for what it is,” Schmidt said. “A cozy, local watering hole with a great staff and great clientele,” Schmidt added.

No stranger to the area, Schmidt has been a resident of the Mt. Hood Villages for over 17 years. Having worked at several popular locations throughout her time on Mt. Hood, Schmidt recognizes the value and importance of maintaining the legacy while also putting her own spin on the menu at the Whistle Stop.

Crediting the Accuardis for elevating the food menu with Painted Hills beef and Grand Central breads, Schmidt plans to not only keep those items, but also expand the menu, bringing new specials to the already upgraded items. “I do love to cook,” Schmidt said. “I have some of my own recipes up my sleeve that I’d really like to add to our daily specials, making the menu a little more diverse,” Schmidt added. Known for her famous pumpkin curry by her close friends and family, Schmidt is eager to get into the kitchen and experiment with different recipes and ideas. “If I’m interested in something new I’ll look up a handful of recipes for the same dish and just wing it,” Schmidt said. “This time of the year I’m all about soups and stews and have been known to make really good chicken white bean chili and a steak and black bean chili,” Schmidt added.

While Schmidt is eager and excited to put on her chef’s hat as the new owner of the Whistle Stop, it is no surprise to those that know her that she is just as excited to get behind the bar and create cocktail magic.

Not only has Schmidt worked as a bartender for several years on Mt. Hood, she has also traveled to other ski towns for work and has years of experience with both the local clientele and those traveling to snowy destinations. “I love this mountain and this community. It’s no secret to us that live here in this paradise why people come to visit in droves,” Schmidt said. “Being a business owner just plants my roots here even deeper. It also means I’m not going anywhere anytime soon so I will have even more reason to get involved,” Schmidt added.

As the mountain community continues to evolve and change, Schmidt taking over The Whistle Stop, as a long-time local, reminds patrons that no matter how many out of state plates settle over the long weekends and seasons, those with roots remain strong and steady.

Having had the privilege of writing the article on her brother, Meshach Hottendor, and his chef’s exit from the mountain to Florida, it is with all of the best wishes and love I send Tekla on this most exciting adventure.

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