If you ask Bill Gibson where the idea to open The Orchard came from, he’ll credit his wife, Trish, who he says has all the good ideas. The inspiration for their venture came while the couple was on vacation in Florida about 17 years ago. “Being in the restaurant business, we always go to bars and restaurants to see how they do things,” Bill says. “We want to see how we can make ourselves better.”
When they saw a marina using an old, run-down wooden shack as a bar, Trish thought of the property they had behind their Pinetop-Lakeside restaurant, Charlie Clark’s Steakhouse, and thought the same concept might work. “We got home, and my wife says, ‘We can open up the orchard and see how that goes, and put a bar in one of the buildings,’ ” Bill recalls. “So we did. And people just flocked to it. We added a second bar and cook shack and started serving food.”
The outdoor venue sits on 2.5 acres of historic property that originally was the homestead of the Adairs, a pioneer family who settled in Pinetop-Lakeside in the late 1800s. The Gibsons have tried to preserve and protect that history as best they can, and turning the space into a place for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy the summer months has been a labor of love. The old barns have become bars, while the area where the Adairs’ home once stood is now a dance floor. “The Orchard is just a beautiful setting — it has huge cottonwoods that are over a hundred years old,” Bill says. “It’s a great experience. It takes your stress away.”
The venue offers customers an opportunity to relish the cool summers in the White Mountains while listening to live music and enjoying comfort food from Charlie Clark’s. From the signature burgers to the house specialty prime rib, the historic steakhouse’s menu offers hearty meals with a side of friendly service.
The Orchard is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from Memorial Day weekend through September. Local bands offer live entertainment for patrons every night, while the bartenders serve up everything from a cold beer to your favorite cocktail. For those with a sweet tooth, the homemade cobbler or double chocolate brownie is sure to hit the spot.
1701 E. White Mountain Boulevard