Cloverlane Event Center opening soon

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On Oct. 28, DeeAnn “Dee” Stansbury and her husband, Brett Stansbury will open Cloverlane Mercantile and Event Center in Hockinson, which was formerly Finn Hall.

Naming the place after the couple’s dog, Clover, the Stansburys hope to revive the building and bring back the spirit the hall once emitted.

Multiple ideas for Cloverlane’s aesthetics were considered, but they found a design they were content with.

“To me, this building has a real McMenamins feel, where rooms flow into the other,” Dee said. “We had a couple different visions for it, but I think we’ve gotten to a place where it’s changed completely, but we’re really happy with the direction it’s going.”

The building features a road painted on the ceiling, with their dog Clover in a little car at the starting line. It is also adorned with murals painted across the ceiling, with Dee’s Cafe sporting an Alice in Wonderland theme. Rainbows are painted with Clover in the center in the hallway. As Dee states, Clover is the “queen” of the event center because of how loved she is by anyone who meets her.

As for the pub, it is riddled with jerseys on the walls, vinyls of athletes, and vintage tables with sports team logos epoxied onto them. The Stansburys have a love for Ireland, and some of the decorations were brought from the country.

While the upstairs ballroom is still intact, the couple added a stage and has already set up a drum kit with a medieval castle design, complete with knight statues, for bands to play. They expect to have rock and country bands play, matching the demographics of the area. The couple also wants to host parties and weddings at the venue.

Since the building was erected in 1931, the walls were made of plaster instead of drywall. This made drilling to set up decorations a challenge, but Brett succeeded.

The group Dance Hall Days will play on Oct. 28 during the building’s opening, which will be a private event, since the business is not allowed to open to the public yet.

Getting Cloverlane off the ground has been quite a daunting task since they first started the project in October of 2020.

“The county has given us so many hoops to jump through,” Dee said. “We kind of knew that going in, but nobody anticipated how bad it would be. We signed for the building Oct. 9 last year, but we’ve been trying to get it open since then.”

She added the building has two physical addresses, but no one knew that until the couple purchased the property. There’s one address for the physical property, while the mortgage and taxes are filed under another address.

For now, Cloverlane will be a private event center, but the Stansburys plan to open it to the public at a later date.

According to Brett, Clark County has told the couple it would need to complete an engineering study because the business would impact traffic. The operation takes four months to complete and another four to review, and will cost $12,000. If it gets rejected, the entire process has to start over again, Brett said, but outside of the hurdles, most of the opening process has been smooth in terms of the Washington state government.

“The state has been fantastic,” Brett said. “Everything from the health department, to the liquor board, to taxation and revenue, the resale license, and everything else has been in place here except for the county. All they have to do is change our business type.”

Cloverlane Mercantile and Events Center is legally listed as a church, but the Stansburys are trying to get it changed to a Type 2A business, which has been the root of many of their problems.

The community has been excited and are incredibly supportive, the Stansburys said. Dee and Brett felt there weren’t any big businesses in Hockinson the community could go to, so they wanted to bring more life to the area by opening the event center.

Bringing that vision to life is nonstop work, as Brett sometimes sleeps in the building because he has, on occasion, worked 23 hours in one day. The couple has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get the facility open. Even with all the obstacles in their path, Brett and Dee will not allow their efforts to be for nought, as they said they are opening on Oct. 28 regardless of what happens.

A community vendor holiday bazaar is currently being planned for later this year. The pair also plans to expand by opening a vineyard outside.

“It’s a miracle we’re here,” Dee said. “However, I know God has great plans for this building.”

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