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by Mike Corrigan

Sure, it's cramped, dark and smoky. And it does get a might loud. But Ichabod's is a rock club, damn it. It's not pretty, but then again, it's not pretentious either. And it's one place where you'll never have to worry about running into your mom.

"Usually, the only thing we place in is 'Best Dive Bar'," jokes Heather Martin, who handles the band bookings for ICHABOD'S.

Martin and her husband Pete have been keeping Spokane rock fans well nourished for the past six years with an endless procession of local talent and impressive national acts. Pete owns the business and on weekends can be found behind the bar attending to patrons' beverage requests.

Musical variety is the rule here, but Ichabod's also has a well-deserved reputation as the city's premiere punk rock club. If you like it loud, hard and fast, this joint has got you covered.

And if consistency, hospitality and dedication mean anything at all in this world, the Martins deserve some recognition. At Ichabod's, a band is always playing, the beer is always flowing and no matter how packed it gets inside, there always seems to be a spot to park your tush.

"We're just about supporting the local scene," says Martin. "And we struggle, but we make sure people are taken care of. We want everyone to feel comfortable. It's okay to be who you are at Ichabod's."

Martin took over the booking a few years ago from erstwhile Spokane rock promoter extraordinaire Terry Grob and got a quick education in the art and science of securing live acts for the club.

"I used to get so frustrated with Terry because he would complain and not answer his phone. Now that I'm doing it, I want to pull my hair out and now I know exactly why he would shut the ringer off for two weeks. It's difficult making everybody happy. But you know, we just keep doing it because nobody else is going to."

Keep it up, guys. And keep those Oly stubbies coming.

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