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9:45 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

Pine Cone Inn closes its doors

The Daily Courier, file<br>
Patti Bell and Doug Keller entertain guests in October 2010 at the Pine Cone Inn in Prescott. Bell and co-owner Tim Gray closed the restaurant this past December.

The Daily Courier, file<br> Patti Bell and Doug Keller entertain guests in October 2010 at the Pine Cone Inn in Prescott. Bell and co-owner Tim Gray closed the restaurant this past December.

The revival of the Pine Cone Inn is over.

Owners Tim Gray and Patti Bell said in a news release late this week that the storied landmark fell victim to the poor economy. The restaurant and bar closed at the end of December.

"We reopened this historic landmark with very high hopes, but the continuing downturn in the current economy has caused us to close our doors," they wrote. "We put our heart and soul into this endeavor and did our best to provide the citizens of Prescott and the surrounding area with a great experience."

It was less than two years ago when Bell and retired golf pro Tim Gray explained to the Daily Courier that they bought the former hot spot off White Spar Road with plans to restore its prestige in the community.

In an October 2010 story, Bell said that a lot of people remember the inn as a popular place and that they were "dying for it to come back the way it was."

The inn opened in 1931as The White Mink. Bob Dunbar bought the restaurant seven years later and gave it its current name.

Gray, who once worked there as a parking valet and dishwasher in the 1960s, said in the story that people went to the inn to grab a bite, socialize and dance, and it was his goal to bring that back and restore it as one of the city's prominent dining establishments.

"We want to make it the hometown restaurant it used to be," he said.

Bell and Gray are grateful to the loyal customers, performers and restaurant employees.

"We will miss all of you, but it seems the time has come to move on to the next chapter of our lives," they wrote.

"We strongly urge you to support all of our locally owned restaurants and businesses. They need it now more than ever."