Who needs a stiff drink?
Of all the things we most miss about life pre-pandemic, one of the big ones is hanging out at our favorite local watering hole, crowded around a table with five or six friends. While many bars and restaurants have reopened since the first wave of lockdown procedures in March, those that operate under a nightclub license still have their doors shut. The ones that are open, meanwhile, are only seating limited capacities and stop serving alcohol at 10 pm.
But even if you haven’t been able to hang out at the neighborhood bar like we once could, you can still take the party home with you: A number of local restaurants and drinking spots have embraced the to-go and curbside pickup model, and in some cases, you can get a convenient cocktail with your meal.
Here are a few Spokane businesses where you can grab your drinks and go.
DRY FLY DISTILLING
This Spokane distillery pivoted to selling to-go bottles (and its own brand of hand sanitizer) as soon as the COVID-19 lockdowns took effect, closing down its tasting room but upping its curbside sales. Now Dry Fly is selling canned cocktails — appropriately advertised as “On the Fly” — which are perfect for a socially distanced backyard hangout. You can choose between Moscow mules or its spicy and huckleberry lemonades, and as of a few weeks ago, canned bloody marys have been added to the mix. The cans are currently available in many local stores, or you can purchase them at Dry Fly’s East Trent tasting room. 1003 E. Trent Ave., dryflydistilling.com, 489-2112
LIL SUMTHIN’ SALOON
One of Spokane’s many tiny bars that lives up to its name, Lil Sumthin’ opened its small storefront on the corner of Second and Bernard mere months before shutdowns went into place. But now the Western-themed saloon is back in business, and they’ve leaned into selling to-go cocktails. Starting in early September, Lil Sumthin’ planned to deliver margaritas, negronis and several whiskey-based craft cocktails right to you. Pair one of them with the saloon’s new menu of Tex Mex-style hot dogs, and you’ve got yourself a good evening. 301 W. Second Ave., 425-954-5528
DURKIN’S LIQUOR BAR
This downtown mainstay has always mixed the upscale with the casual, serving traditional diner dishes and comfort food at an elevated level. It’s when you head downstairs to the cozy, speakeasy-style basement bar that you truly experience a bit of ’20s elegance in 2020. Of course, cramming into a confined space isn’t advised right now, but you can still order bottled old fashioneds and Negroni drinks as part of your to-go order. Serve it over a gentleman’s cube in a highball glass and you can recreate some of that Durkin’s magic in your own living room. 415 W. Main Ave., durkinsliquorbar.com, 863-9501
One of the side effects of the pandemic is that bars have pushed last call up by a few hours. But as soon as the clock strikes 10 pm, the Gilded Unicorn, the popular downtown eatery in the basement of the Montvale Hotel, shuts down its bar and starts offering a variety of bottled cocktails to go. It’s the next best thing to staying out past your bedtime. Maybe get a bite to eat there — we’d recommend the signature tater tot casserole or the rich mac and cheese — and take a libation home with you. 110 S. Monroe St., gildedunicorn.com, 309-3698