Bundle Up And Chow Down

Bundle Up And Chow Down

When Washington state’s second indoor dining ban of 2020 was enacted back in mid-November to slow the spread of COVID-19, dozens of local restaurants scrambled to move their tables back outdoors, where guests from the same household can still gather to enjoy a...
Help from Hollywood

Help from Hollywood

Spokane native Sydney Sweeney is just 23, yet she’s been working as an actress since 2009; now, with a number of high-profile roles to her credit, she’s clearly on the path to stardom. To help restaurants and the homeless in her hometown, she recently donated $12,000....
Keep the Music Playing

Keep the Music Playing

New Year’s Eve is synonymous with celebration, especially at a time when we’re hoping that the coming year is going to be better than the last. But the very circumstances that made 2020 such a slog will keep festivities muted as the clock strikes midnight. The...
Distilling the Moment

Distilling the Moment

If Don Poffenroth had his druthers, he probably wouldn’t be relocating Dry Fly Distilling at the height of a global pandemic. But you can’t always choose exactly how events will unfold, and this particular $4.5 million move to a larger building has been in the works...
Evolving Mission

Evolving Mission

Spokane County’s libraries are proving flexible in order to serve the community through the pandemic Local libraries aren’t what they used to be. Gone is the stereotypical stuffy repository of books, replaced by a hub of activity for all ages occurring both...
Fun in the Kitchen

Fun in the Kitchen

From hands-on learning to virtual classes, home cooks have lots of choices to help expand their skills in Spokane For many people, one of the earliest, most comforting places to pick up a shutdown hobby was the kitchen, whether baking bread, cooking new recipes or...
Just The Beginning

Just The Beginning

It’s hard to imagine celebrating the end of a year quite so joyously as we’ll celebrate the end of 2020. For so many of us, it’s been the most challenging year of our lives. Between home-schooling our kids, navigating the state’s unemployment system for the...
Pressing Pause

Pressing Pause

The Big Dipper and other local music venues are still waiting to stage live shows again The banner that’s covering the entire facade of THE BIG DIPPER is designed to make you stop and read it. The all-ages music venue, which has sat on the corner of Washington...
The Big Bike Boom

The Big Bike Boom

Since the pandemic stripped bike stores bare last spring, this winter may be your best chance to shop and get lucky This year, bicycles were the toilet paper of transportation. When the pandemic hit, so many people wanted so many bicycles that the shelves at local...
Calling Timeout

Calling Timeout

Local game shops and arcades anxiously await a return to in-person tournaments and carefree fun It’s been a roller coaster of a year for game shops and venues. First, there was a complete shutdown in March, lasting about a month. Then came a return to in-person...
Creature Comforts

Creature Comforts

Channel your inner animal by visiting cuddly critters in the county At a time when so many of us are feeling isolated and starved for company, it’s not a bad idea to turn to our pals in the animal kingdom for a little companionship. Heck, they’re probably more...
Rock (Climb) On

Rock (Climb) On

How local climbing gyms have been adjusting to COVID-19 There’s nothing quite as rewarding as reaching for the next hold on the climbing wall and surpassing your personal best. Whether you’re a professional looking for places to practice in between climbs or...
Gatherings Reimagined

Gatherings Reimagined

In a normal year, the Epicurean Delight gala fundraiser is one of the highlights of the local Arts & Culture calendar, featuring 60 purveyors of food and libations each November. It attracts 1,200 guests and raises essential funds for Vitalint (formerly the Inland...
GIFT CARDS ARE A GREAT OPTION

GIFT CARDS ARE A GREAT OPTION

Early in the pandemic, when his firm wanted to do something for their employees and felt the need to support local businesses, Metals Fab in Airway Heights gave out gift cards to local restaurants. “It was a no-brainer for us,” says Todd Weaver, president of the steel...
Getting Creative in South Perry

Getting Creative in South Perry

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the resourcefulness and adaptability of many small businesses has been their saving grace. At VEDA LUX, a mainstay of Spokane’s trendy South Perry District, owner Summer Hightower has weathered the topsy-turvy stages of the pandemic...
TAKEOUT TIME

TAKEOUT TIME

With new restrictions on indoor dining starting a few weeks back, restaurants across Spokane County have been dialing in their takeout game to invite their fans in to support them. And it’s no different at Wooden City Spokane, except that they had barely settled in...
You Gotta Laugh

You Gotta Laugh

Spokane’s comedy community is working to keep the funny alive If there was ever a time we could all use a good laugh, it’s 2020. But of all the sectors of the economy punished by the pandemic, it’s arguably been the worst for live entertainment venues and the artists...
Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back

It won’t be long before sports are back in Spokane In March, the SPOKANE SHOCK — a name once thought to be no more when the Arena Football League franchise folded in 2015 — were almost back. The first game of the year was days away for the Indoor Football League team....
Art in Flux

Art in Flux

Many local galleries remain open under COVID-19 restrictions, in addition to hosting virtual exhibitions for at-home viewing While museums across Washington state were recently forced to close their galleries to the public yet again, a good chunk of small, local art...
Hurd Is the Word

Hurd Is the Word

Hurd Mercantile lies slightly off the beaten path. Getting there involves taking a scenic drive through the softly undulating wheat fields for which the Palouse is famous, then pulling into the tiny town of Rockford (pop. 486). Among the five or six buildings that...
The Band Plays On

The Band Plays On

As hard as the COVID-19 pandemic has been on industries like retail and hospitality, it’s been especially tough on the culture and entertainment sector. Faced with the impossibility of offering live performances for the foreseeable future, organizations like the...
RUBY RIVER STROLL

RUBY RIVER STROLL

Here’s another holiday option that keeps you outdoors: Enjoy a festive walk along the banks of the Spokane River, punctuated by a beautiful light display sponsored by Wheatland Bank. It all happens along the trail in front of the Ruby River Hotel; swing by any time to...
Pictures of Progress

Pictures of Progress

When BRICKYARD BARBERSHOP reopened in the wake of the first statewide pandemic lockdown, the popular men’s grooming salon was greeted with a flood of appointments. “It was really crazy,” says owner Chris Banka. “Everybody was wanting to get a haircut. They’ve never...
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

With the news over the weekend of new restrictions in the state of Washington, many businesses in Spokane County are struggling to adjust to the changes that will be in place through Dec. 14. For restaurants, the biggest one is no indoor dining, meaning they will have...
Outdoors, But Still Downtown

Outdoors, But Still Downtown

Downtown Spokane is the region’s biggest holiday destination, and along with its winning collection of shops and restaurants, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone in the family engaged. There are health accommodations being made all over downtown, but many...
A Very Covid Christmas

A Very Covid Christmas

How local businesses are trying to adapt for a pandemic-restricted holiday shopping season Some businesses live or die based on Christmas shopping. That’s true any year. But this year — which isn’t any year — that’s especially true. “I think it’s fair to say the...
Workin’ It

Workin’ It

Where to outfit your home office Alright, so you’ve likely already been working from home for most of the year if you’re new to the work-from-home routine due to the pandemic. But have you really taken the time to set up a proper home office yet? Sitting at the...
Dig In

Dig In

Embrace your green thumb at these local shops The pandemic has taken away plenty of hobbies: Team sports, singing and basically anything involving other people indoors. One thing it can’t take away? Your love of plants. Whether you have a robust garden, or you simply...
Retail, Reimagined

Retail, Reimagined

Local boutiques cater to customers with on-camera product updates, personalized styling and private shopping sessions When Washington state went on lockdown in mid-March, local boutique owner Victoria Zvoncheck-Ferro thought she might be telling her customers goodbye...
Look Sharp!

Look Sharp!

Where to shop for the well-dressed man It’s no secret that the social norms of 2020 are a lot more lenient than in past years, but just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly lost the urge to occasionally dress up. Sure, we’re...
Closer to Home

Closer to Home

You can buy equipment to bring your gym into your home — without the crowd For weeks this spring, local gyms closed and left fitness fanatics without a regular place to go stay in shape. And while many gyms have reopened with safety measures, your sweaty, muggy gym...
New Arrangements

New Arrangements

Flowers are one of the most universal ways for us to commemorate special occasions. It’s hard to imagine birthdays, weddings or graduations without a festive tabletop bouquet or a stunning floral arrangement. But as COVID-19 has limited our ability to gather as often...
2020 Vision

2020 Vision

Local eye clinics are providing clarity during the pandemic After the pandemic hit Spokane, GARLAND VISION SOURCE was closed for two months. But Brett Hagen, eye doctor and owner of the eye clinic, says that once they officially opened their doors back up, business...
Grooming for Zoom

Grooming for Zoom

Lifted restrictions mean there’s no excuse for not looking your best online or in person With a switch to working from home for many employees throughout the region this year, personal grooming habits have, well, changed a bit. For some, it’s been freeing to take a...
Make it Pop!

Make it Pop!

Local event planner launches a custom balloon business to make celebrations happen during the pandemic When it became clear early this year that large-scale events, from fundraisers to weddings, were going on a months-long hiatus as the coronavirus’s threat remains...
Baby Talk

Baby Talk

Blankets and onesies and bibs, oh my! First, real talk: Babies grow fast. Just when you feel like you’ve finally caught up on their wardrobe, their toes reach the end of their sleeper, and you’re back where you started. Truly, keeping a child dressed through all the...
Beauty Behind the Masks

Beauty Behind the Masks

For the 7 Wonders spa in Spokane Valley, the impact of COVID-19 has been a mixed bag. There are the obvious negative effects, of course: The constant worry over maintaining a safe, sanitized environment. The limits on the number of simultaneous customers on account of...
Staying Focused on the Customer

Staying Focused on the Customer

“I saw my life flash before my eyes,” says Alan Shepherd as he recalls the panic and uncertainty of the early days of the pandemic. “This is all I’ve got. All my eggs are in the Rocket Market.” The Rocket Market is one of the area’s many ultra-local...
Searching for Silver Linings

Searching for Silver Linings

When Sean Tracy first got involved in the family business several decades ago, he probably didn’t foresee a year like 2020. Luxury retailers like Spokane’s Tracy Jewelers typically pride themselves on an unhurried, highly personalized experience. But providing that...
Your Comfort Zone

Your Comfort Zone

It became clear early on in the pandemic as the state shut down and many of us suddenly found ourselves hunkered down at home — retail businesses, even those deemed “nonessential” in the early days of coronavirus, sure feel essential when you’re trying to work at...
Sustainable Style

Sustainable Style

Where to find your newest look from local secondhand stores Secondhand clothing is not just a frugal way to save money and look stylish at the same time — it’s a sustainable alternative to the rapid-cycle fast-fashion market, where trends seem to come and go every few...
House Sipping

House Sipping

A few places to shop to build a functioning home bar Maybe you’ve recently moved into a new place or you’re just ready for a shopping spree, either way you’ve been considering building up a home bar. It’s the perfect time to make space for one while your...
Spin City

Spin City

Spokane’s record stores crank up the sounds that make the city a little more vibrant It was only about a decade ago that vinyl records seemed destined for obsolescence, an antiquated medium that was bound to be eclipsed by CDs and MP3s. But now the sonic shoe is on...
GIVING SEASON

GIVING SEASON

Where to shop for gifts heading into the holidays From flowers and sweet treats to books, mugs and dish towels with those funny sayings on them, Spokane County’s got some incredible gift options for everyone on your list as we head into the holiday season. Many people...
Get Comfy

Get Comfy

Stocking up on cozy athleisure wear for autumn Let’s be honest: Working from home means our athleisure wear is getting more use than normal. Let’s be more honest: It’s past time to retire those sweatpants and stock up on some new pieces. Whether you’re looking...
Closer to Home

Closer to Home

If you’re stuck inside, your local hardware store can help with your home improvement projects This spring, under quarantine, everyone suddenly had to live and work at home, and often they didn’t like what they saw. There were rooms to paint. Gardens to plant. Things...
Freshen Up

Freshen Up

Shops to help you take your home decor to the next level Many of us are reacquainting ourselves with our homes as we navigate the new normal of spending considerably more time there. And if shopping reports are any indication, we’re investing in the kinds of things...
Bringing Hollywood Home

Bringing Hollywood Home

Where to get the essentials for a new pandemic-friendly home theater set-up If you’re a movie buff who’s been stuck at home for the last six months, you’re no doubt missing being surrounded by an audience and taking in the latest films, absorbed in the visual...
It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

The important steps that were taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 had consequences that weren’t always immediately visible. As the public watched restaurants shift to takeout-only service or temporarily close their doors during the early stages of the pandemic,...
An Eye to the Future

An Eye to the Future

When Masselow’s Steakhouse temporarily closed along with the Northern Quest Resort & Casino on March 16, the staff wanted to make the closure count. They sought to implement changes that would not only limit the spread of COVID-19, but also provide an even...
Now What?

Now What?

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...

Winter Patios

While many restaurants are still figuring out their plans for outdoor seating this winter, here are a few places that already have outdoor plans. TRUE LEGENDS GRILL For the first time, True Legends Grill recently put a tent cover over its patio and it expanded the...

The Whole Nine

Head to Nine Mile Falls for real Texas BBQ, good espresso and beautiful scenery For Rod Smith, owner of BIG ROD’S TEXAS BBQ, business this year has been better than ever. “Each year is getting bigger and bigger. If you have a good product, people are going to...
GIFT CARDS ARE A GREAT OPTION

Any ‘Wich Way

There’s no wrong way to make a sandwich, and there are many local shops to choose from Is there any lunch more customizable than the humble sandwich? From pesto chicken paninis to the classic grilled cheese, the options begin with whatever you can fit in between...
Rural Restaurants

Rural Restaurants

Getting your grub on in the Deer Park and Elk region Drive north from Spokane for about 40 minutes and you’ll hit Deer Park, a quaint town of just over 4,000 people. A mere 15 miles from there is the unincorporated town of Elk, which is even more rural. Put together,...
Wake Up & Eat

Wake Up & Eat

Get your brunch on at these delicious Spokane County mainstays They’ve always said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet so many of us skip it. The beauty of brunch, meanwhile, is that you can still enjoy breakfast foods without having to...
Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

With cold weather fast approaching, Spokane County restaurants brace for indoor season For many restaurants, scrambling to expand patio space or create it from scratch seemed like the way to survive the hardships of 2020 and a global pandemic. That was way back this...
Pizza Time

Pizza Time

Seven great options in Spokane Don’t sleep on pizza. Sure, it’s now easier than ever to order in a fancy dinner, or a burger and fries, or some pad thai. But there’s still something about opening that box and ripping off a slice of your favorite pizza....
Wrap City

Wrap City

Several spots to grab a burrito to-go throughout the region The burrito is a versatile handheld treat. Throw eggs in a tortilla and you can enjoy breakfast while on the run. Wrap up some meat, beans, rice, veggies and cheese to enjoy a full meal in the palm of your...
Tastes Like Fall

Tastes Like Fall

As part of a family with strong German roots, it was customary for Greg Brandt to celebrate Oktoberfest every autumn. Now in his fifth year as head brewer and owner of Iron Goat Brewing Co., Brandt continues that annual tradition by offering limited-run German-style...
The Personal Touch

The Personal Touch

In these days of social distancing and self-quarantining, online commerce has often been hailed as a saving grace for housebound shoppers and brick-and-mortar businesses alike. Many restaurants, for instance, have found a lifeline in online ordering via websites or...
Trial By Fire

Trial By Fire

It was April 27, the day before his son’s birthday, that Raci Erdem learned the Pentagon was on fire. The popular bistro and martini bar was the newest of the three Washington, D.C.-themed restaurants that Erdem operates along the Washington-Idaho border. Its grand...
Click Your Heels

Click Your Heels

Eating and drinking your way through the Garland District Spokane County is home to countless cool neighborhoods, but the Garland District on the city of Spokane’s North Hill is one of a kind. Sure, other neighborhoods offer a blend of shopping, dining and drinking,...
The Way To-Go

The Way To-Go

Delivery and takeout sales sustain local restaurants while offering safe and convenient alternatives for customers When COVID-19 hit the Pacific Northwest, forcing the entire food-service industry into lockdown for more than two months, restaurants had no choice but...
Pick Your Style

Pick Your Style

Spokane County’s barbecue spots draw inspiration from around the country Meat and fire. It’s one of the oldest recipes in humanity’s collective cookbook. There are many ways to barbecue meats — in various regional styles with sauces and rubs from family recipes...
A Warm Welcome

A Warm Welcome

It’s right there in the name — the hospitality industry, the people who welcome us, take care of us, feed us, get us a little buzzed, help us celebrate life’s special moments and, on the daily, dish out the little pick-me-ups that we need to get through the day....
Holding Strong

Holding Strong

There may be fewer college students in town, but the strong Cheney dining scene remains Usually, Cheney is bustling with students during Eastern Washington University’s move-in week. Dorms and apartments fill up, the bars get rowdier, and students begin to explore the...
Dished Out

Dished Out

Understanding and helping our culinary community By Erin Peterson During a conversation I had yesterday with a consulting client who works at a local restaurant, I had a moment of uncommon clarity about the nature of the service industry. She spoke about how often...
The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files

Find character and comfort in Rockford Take the Palouse Scenic Byway south from Spokane and you’ll pass through several charming small towns with long histories as anchor points for the agricultural community. One of the communities familiar to anyone who’s taken that...
The Red-Carpet Treatment

The Red-Carpet Treatment

“Tourism is an underrated economic driver,” says Visit Spokane CEO Meg Winchester. “We sometimes take for granted how much money it brings in — and those are outside dollars that are coming into Spokane.” A recent study found that those outside dollars...
A Vital Mission

A Vital Mission

Strictly speaking, halibut cakes, carne asada, and salted caramel cupcakes are not necessities of life. Yet, one of the lessons from COVID-19 is that local businesses like Hay J’s Bistro, Mexico Lindo Taqueria, and Sweet Frostings are essential. They’re where we...
Arts Venues Pivoting

Arts Venues Pivoting

Of all the personal qualities that come in handy when running a business, flexibility might be one of the most important. For many restaurant and venue owners, it’s certainly been crucial for navigating the current pandemic. With live entertainment now on hold in...
Fully Loaded

Fully Loaded

Where to stock up on the basics During the different phases of reopening, many restaurants have expanded their to-go offerings, often adding family-sized meals at an incredible deal. Some, however, have gone a step further and started offering pantry staples and...
Full Meal Deals

Full Meal Deals

Let someone else do the hard stuff As the pandemic grinds on, you may have already abandoned your dreams of spending your time in isolation learning how to cook. Don’t give up so easily. These local businesses will deliver meal kits that hand you everything you need...
City on the Rise

City on the Rise

Liberty Lake has become a dining destination in its own right Back when they first launched HAY J’S BISTRO in 2006, owner Rhonda Entner and her son, chef-owner Patrick Fechser, saw the potential in Liberty Lake, a fairly recently incorporated city with a history...
Breathe Easy

Breathe Easy

With fresh air a commodity during the pandemic, Spokane County restaurants expand outdoor seating options There are few things better than eating a great meal while soaking in the heat, enjoying the city and breathing in the fresh air out on a restaurant’s patio....
Mixing It Up

Mixing It Up

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...
Opening Doors

Opening Doors

The pandemic hasn’t prevented several new food spots from debuting, and even thriving Fluffy’s Candy in North Spokane opened for the first time on March 16, the morning after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dining...
We got this!

We got this!

We’ve all had a tough run of it these past months. Businesses and individuals alike have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the hospitality industry. Even as Washington state has reopened under Phase 2, revenues are down by up to 70 percent...
The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Patio spaces have always offered a sought-after dining experience. When the sun is out and the temperature is right, eating outdoors can enhance our enjoyment of an already excellent meal — especially when we’re in the company of close friends and family. These days,...
Keep on Truckin’

Keep on Truckin’

From the first green shoots of spring until the last leaf falls in autumn, Spokane area food trucks are typically firing on all available cylinders. Even if they’re not attending an event or parked at a familiar roadside spot, their staff will be busy with operational...
Pouring In Unison

Pouring In Unison

Sarah Lathrop had always intended to create an online ordering system for Liberty Lake Wine Cellars, the winery and tasting room she co-owns with her husband Mark. But if she had her druthers, it would have been something that she rolled out at her own pace. Instead,...
Staying Nimble

Staying Nimble

Over the past few months, restaurants have had to adapt their business models to the changing situation on the ground. And in many cases, those adaptations have had to be both quick and continuous. “We didn’t really have an active website prior to March,” says Tiffany...
Comrades, 
Not Competitors

Comrades, 
Not Competitors

As the executive director of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce, Toby Broemmeling is used to advocating for the area and its local economy. He’s quick to note, for example, that the West Plains includes three “viable, dynamic, growing” downtown cores: Cheney, Medical...
A Community Effort

A Community Effort

The negative and far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are by now painfully obvious. That pain has been acute in fields like entertainment and hospitality, where good business simply depends on people gathering. For the restaurant industry in particular, the...

Pin It on Pinterest