The Cambrian

The Brambles won’t be a restaurant again, owner says

The Brambles will not be a dinner house again, owner Dirk Winter says.
The Brambles will not be a dinner house again, owner Dirk Winter says.

New plans for renovating the historic house at 4005 Burton Drive (where The Brambles Dinner House used to be) won’t include a restaurant, according to Dirk Winter, an owner of the corporation that owns the property now. He also owns Moonstone Hotels (Cambria Pines Lodge and other lodgings).

In 2012, Winter’s original plan for the landmark property at the foot of the Burton Drive hill was to update the 8,000-square-foot restaurant building to include an upscale eatery, a brewery and three hotel units, plus add a hotel building and separate retail building in the large, adjacent parking lot.

The building’s interior has been demolished, but redoing the structure to house a restaurant wasn’t financially feasible, Winter said June 7.

Because the building had been vacant and the restaurant inoperative for so long, he said, county regulations would require him to fully comply with modern codes for a restaurant. Those upgrades would have included a new electrical system, new plumbing, new equipment, additional bathrooms and more, Winter said. He said “the ball is in our court now” as far as the new design is concerned, and that options are being discussed and considered.

The building’s history stretches back to 1874, when George W. Proctor, a prominent man in Cambria’s early history, built a house “to shelter a favorite employee or relative, or, perhaps, as an income-producing property,” according to a 1997 report prepared by historian Dawn Dunlap and Florence Silveria Kast for the Cambria Historical Society.

Subsequent property owners added to the structure several times. In 1955, Norma and Holland Vaughn bought the property, lived in the house and opened a small tea room/luncheonette in the parlor, an eatery she named “Brambles, by the Bridge.”

Subsequent owner/operators of the restaurant included Bryan and Sylvia Hume (1962-1984) and Nick and Debbie Kaperonis (1984-2008). Some partners in Ansun Enterprises, the corporation that formerly owned the 48,000-square-foot property, operated the restaurant from 2009 to 2011.