Summer had to end sometime, and with it, we knew that the warm glow of patio season would begin to fade and a new reality would confront Spokane County’s hospitality industry.

What now?

Restaurants have been struggling throughout the pandemic, but through ingenuity and support from devoted customers, they’re making the best of it. Some relief is on the way, thankfully. On Oct. 6, Gov. Jay Inslee announced updates to the state’s restarting phases, giving the go-ahead to serve alcohol until 11 pm instead of 10 pm, and allowing indoor dining among people from different households.

Meanwhile, nearly 100 local restaurants (and counting) have banded together to draft you, the dining public, into their cause. Members of the Spokane Hospitality Coalition have all pledged to follow an extensive list of safety standards to keep everyone safe so that commerce can flow as freely as possible in the Spokane area.

“Our goal is to provide local restaurants with the support they need to survive — putting butts in seats… and support the community that supports us,” says coalition co-director London Harris of London’s Ultimate Catering.

The group’s mission fits nicely with the goals of Back to Business, a local marketing effort developed by the Inlander and a variety of community institutions, including STCU and Washington Trust Bank (see page 5 for more details). Together these partners recognize the importance of Spokane County’s hospitality industry — not just to the culture and vibrancy of our community, but also to the economic well-being of the entire region.

This Back to Business Guide, the third in a series, is part of that team effort. Inside you’ll learn more about how restaurants are dealing with the coming winter, how you can master the tricks of takeout and where you can safely go for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Read on!

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