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The Moon River Marketplace is coming to the Rio Nido Lodge


The Moon River Marketplace is coming
to the Rio Nido Lodge

By Anna Judd

The Moon River Marketplace is scheduled to open this spring in the newly renovated Rio Nido Lodge. The 27 foot redwood burl bar and the large brick fireplace that everyone remembers are still there, as well as memorabilia from the many famous bands that played in Rio Nido. It all adds to the historic ambiance of this new business. 

Moon River will offer organic coffee, specialty teas, and espresso drinks, crepes, grilled Panini sandwiches, salads and fresh baked goods.  There will also be a general store to serve the surrounding community and visitors to the Russian River area.  The store will provide natural foods, dairy, dry goods, toiletries, and local arts and crafts. 

The historic Rio Nido Lodge was built in 1918.  It was a prime bay area destination allowing folks to arrive by train and spend their summers dancing to the big bands, swimming and relaxing on the Rio Nido Beach, and exploring under the majestic redwoods. Jennifer Ostrom - Moon River Marketplace - Rio Nido Lodge

Difficult times and ownership changes led to a sad state of disrepair, which impacted the lodge for a while. In 2009, the lodge was acquired by Dennis Judd.  Extensive clean up and renovation immediately began, and the Rio Nido community was invited to express their ideas, hopes and dreams for how the lodge could best serve their needs.

In December of 2009, over 80 neighbors attended a meeting at the lodge with a panel that included local business owners and leaders, government representatives, and Supervisor Carrillo.  Needs of the community that surfaced included a market, indoor community gathering place, and businesses that would employ Rio Nido residents and attract visitors to Rio Nido.

While discussions about the transformation of the Rio Nido lodge continued, the Friends of Rio Nido organization was formed, which now has close to 300 members.  Regular meetings are held and successful projects have included refurbishing and maintaining the river walk tunnel, neighborhood cleanups, new street signs and road demarcations, cleanup of the original fountain, and its numerous planters, community rates for propane…and, most importantly, bonding and friendship among the neighbors.

The Rio Nido lodge also became the cozy home for Pegasus Theater Company ( Pegasus has been enhancing our community with wonderful plays for the past few years.  Last year, local Rio Nido resident Jennifer Ostrom stepped forward and became instrumental in the decision to open the Marketplace at the lodge. Dennis and his crew are working really hard to pull everything together to open Moon River Marketplace this spring. It will be a welcome addition to the community and will be a great neighbor for the Pegasus Theater at the Rio Nido Lodge.

Moon River will be managed and operated by Jennifer, who brings years of food establishment experience and her positive, friendly attitude. Come join your neighbors this spring for our Grand Opening of the Moon River! We will be announcing the date soon!

For additional information please call Jennifer Ostrom at (707) 869-8241, email or go on-line at