Building The Park Grill
One of the things we love sharing with our guests is the history behind how our building was formed. The wood was taken from old spruce trees that were harvested from the top of Payette National Forest in Idaho. All of the trees were dead, either by bark beetles or lightning strikes. Many of the logs used were chosen because of unusual markings, such as big knots or natural scars.
The wood was transferred from Idaho to East Tennessee, which was a long process all in its own. First, it had to be trucked to Timber, Oregon. This is where the prefabrication process was done at Sun Country Logworks. Each log had to be hand-peeled using sharp knives. Because each peeler has their own unique style, one person was responsible for completing the project for our whole restaurant so that each log had a consistent pattern.
Once the wood is peeled, they are sorted and moved to the milling area, where they are cut to the length of what they needed to be to form our restaurant. From there, it was time for the logs to be tagged and begin their journey to Gatlinburg!
Throughout every step of the process, there was a scale model of our restaurant in hand to ensure perfection to the goal in mind. It took seven flatbed trucks to get all the wood to Gatlinburg to begin building our beautiful restaurant.
The builders who worked on putting all the logs in the perfect place came from all over, including Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and even Canada! During production, the logs are joined together using mortise and tenon connections. This makes each piece look like it was truly made to fit with the one beside it.
The hard work that went into forming our exterior is part of what makes our Smoky Mountain restaurant so special. Visitors love hearing the story behind how the building was formed and then enjoying a delicious meal inside its walls.