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Romance is in the Air at The Gamekeeper, One of the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the Country

The Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar is located on 3005 Shulls Mill Road.

By Nathan Ham

It’s that time of year again for couples to plan out their Valentine’s Day celebrations. The Gamekeeper, entering its 20th year of operation under the ownership of Ken and Wendy Gordon, was named to the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants according to reviewers on the popular restaurant reservation site OpenTable. The restaurant was chosen out of over 28,000 restaurants that had received over 12 million reviews of restaurants all across the nation. Five restaurants out of the 100 were chosen from North Carolina, including Ryan’s Restaurant in Winston-Salem and Caprice Bistro in Wilmington.  

“It’s a remarkable honor. We have a wonderful staff that does a great job making everybody’s experience special and everyone understands our number one job is to make sure every single person has the best experience that they possibly can,” said Ken.

Ken says it’s just in the culture of The Gamekeeper for staff members to treat customers very well and provide them with a great evening out.

“It should feel like home, it should feel comfortable, but it should be fun too,” added Ken.

The Gamekeeper is located on Shull’s Mill Road off of Highway 105 near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Reservations for couples are booked completely booked for Valentine’s Day, however, there are spaces available for four-person groups that might want to celebrate with a double date. Groups of four also get a special deal with a free mixed game grill appetizer. Reservations could still available for Saturday and Sunday.

For the rest of the winter, The Gamekeeper will be open on Friday and Saturday until Mother’s Day when they will return to their regular hours being open six days a week.

Tyler Smith has been a chef at The Gamekeeper for five years now and he has made life a lot easier for the Gordons.

“I love hearing when our diners say that they have been coming here for many years and this is the best the food as ever been. Tyler just consistently knocks the ball out of the park,” said Ken.

The front of the house is managed by Kappa Vasgard and is the first friendly face you’ll see entering the restaurant.

As always, reservations are highly encouraged since The Gamekeeper is one of the most popular restaurants in the High Country.

“We’re having one of the most phenomenal years we’ve ever had. We’re busier than ever,” Ken said. “It’s a testament to our wonderful customers. They keep coming back and bringing their friends.”

The Gamekeeper is operated in a cottage that was constructed in the 1920s that underwent significant renovations in the 1950s when it became the residence of the Kepharts, founders of the historic girls camp, Camp Yonahlossee. The Gamekeeper was originally founded in 1987 but was purchased by Ken and Wendy in 2000.

To make reservations, use the OpenTable app on your smartphone or visit The Gamekeeper’s website here

Ken and Wendy Gordon
The restaurant is housed in a 1920s stone cottage amidst lovely views of ferns and large poplar trees and maples.
Ken and Wendy Gordon purchased The Gamekeeper in 2000.

Owners Ken and Wendy Gordon are preparing to celebrate 20 years of operation at The Gamekeeper.