Thomas S. Thomas, 6, of Idyllwild, son of Greg Thomas, is a winner on Saturday at Mountain Mania. Photo by Holly Parsons

True to their promise, Idyology owners Kelli Cooper and Agatha Frank, in concert with Chef Jason Ramos, debuted three new menus Saturday, March 31. “From the Garden” and the new weekend breakfast menus include multitudes of gourmet and eclectic choices designed to entice culinary pilgrims.

An inaugural “Signature Cocktails” menu designed to add a little kick to the Hill beckons as well.

Spring menus will feature many fresh organic and unique selections such as a Summer Shrimp Salad and Gazpacho soup. “We always intended to offer seasonal options for our guests and since breakfast is boss on weekends, this menu is only available Saturday and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon. Our homemade gourmet donuts are designed to entice guests to dive deeper into our traditional or decidedly neuvo breakfast choices,” said Cooper. Luxury eats include a morning splash of Grits with Shrimp, Crab Benedict or Pork Belly Banh Mi.

  Specialty drinks blend a broad range of popular mainstays into ultimate thirst quenchers such as Lemon Dropology or Strawberry Mule. Cooper added, “Our staff are the heart and soul of everything we do and, frankly, our offerings couldn’t rock without them.” Summer hours begin Tuesday, April 10, with dinner served until 10 p.m. and appetizers until midnight, six days a week, closed Mondays.

“In addition to our policy of offering fresh organic ingredients wherever possible, finding ways to bring value to the community remains very important to us,” said Cooper. “On Wednesday mornings, we open the premises to Idyllwild Art’s film students for creative projects. Idyology is home to all of us and we want it to be a home to locals and guests alike.”

“The vision was simple” said Mountain Mania Manager Juls Phillips. “We wanted to provide a safe, clean, dry, warm, stimulating, multi-purpose experience for kids.” Mountain Mania is all that and more. Located on the ground floor of The Fort, this recently opened kids zone includes a classic ticket arcade with 20 interactive games and a prize-redemption area, plus a hang-out lounge to do homework with free Wi-Fi so kids can easily contact their parents.

“Special event offerings are in development for birthday parties and child-appropriate movie screenings; sitcoms and TV theme nights, and a live broadcast by Radio Idyllwild are also in the works,” said Phillips.

  “Fundraising for local children’s programs will also find a home at Mountain Mania,” said Phillips. Organizations such as Thrive, owner Julie Steiger, are planning focused events to support Idyllwild children.

Perhaps the most dynamic element in the array of offerings is the manager herself. Phillips, a life-long Idyllwild resident, is intimately aware of the importance of providing local kids with safe, structured environments. A singer-songwriter by profession and a volunteer for Thrive, Phillips’ passion for providing interactive support systems for kids is evident in the care she conveys for Idyllwild’s future leaders.

The arcade and lounge are currently open after school Wednesday through Friday and weekends. Parents are invited to stop in for a tour and play a few games to soothe their inner child.

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