Pin It
Favorite

For the Ladies 

Nyne caters to lady jocks. Plus, the Cathay Inn turns 60.

click to enlarge Nyne owners Marcine McLaughlin (left) and Kitty Cane - TAMMY MARSHALL
  • Tammy Marshall
  • Nyne owners Marcine McLaughlin (left) and Kitty Cane

Every bar has its crowd. Fast Eddie’s is teeming with freshly turned 21-year-olds. The Riff attracts tatted wanderers. Dempsey’s bubbles with drag queens.

With the opening of Nyne Bar & Bistro (232 W. Sprague), downtown’s social scene has expanded to include a ladies-specific niche.

“Our vision over a year ago was to create a space that caters to women and sports,” says Kitty Kane, who co-owns Nyne with business partner Marcine McLaughlin.

Nyne’s historic location is vast, spacious and loft-like — kind of like Tom Hanks’ dream pad in Big. Origami paper lanterns illuminate rustic oak ceiling beams and metal plumbing. Commanding square windows with industrial glass panes circumnavigate the looming brick walls. An aged garage door rolls up to access patio seating.

The fare is geared towards morsel-munching with a menu that’s concise but thoughtfully stratified.

Appetizers are chips and salsa ($4), sliders ($6), edamame ($4), a flatbread platter ($8), spicy pork wings ($10) and a soup of the day. Entrées consist of a peppercornbleu burger ($9), grilled salmon with wild caprese salad ($13), and a grilled Tuscan chicken Caesar salad ($13).

The flatbread was a hit with our group, vanishing quickly as it was presented. Served warm and fluffy, it came accessorized with a colorful spread of cool Tatziki, savory hummus, and a pile of sun-dried tomato relish that tasted sweet, like cranberries.

In addition to popular liquors like the Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka, there are about six beers on tap (with rotators like Boundary IPA and Blue Moon White), and a bottled inventory mindfully stocked with chic requests like MGD 64 and Bud Light Lime (domestics $3.50; micros $4.50).

Ample elbow room is another plus. Even when Nyne is hopping, you’re less likely to be bumped by drunken boobs.

Jazzy accoutrements include pool, five TV’s and a mesmerizing touch-jukebox that looks like an iPhone and attracts passersby on their way to the bathroom like flies to a lamp. There’s set-up for Wii bowling tournaments, shooting for shots (Nyne has a basketball half court) and a chill, sublevel multi-purpose/make-out area called “The Pit.”

So is Nyne the future Wildrose (an infamous lesbian bar in Seattle) of Spokane?

Judging from the couple making out on the couch, maybe. Patrons seem pretty comfortable with PDA. And why shouldn’t they be?

“It’s a classy sports bar that caters to women,” McLaughlin says. “We know men will come — we love men — but there’s no place [locally] that really caters to women.” (Blair Tellers)

Nyne Bar & Bistro, 232 W. Sprague, is open Mon-Sun, 11 am-close. Call: 474-1621.

Chinese Time Machine

Back before the Wandermere area exploded, and before the North Division Y became a strip mall and big-box hub — before NorthTown was built — back when Division Street was just four lanes and Francis Avenue was two (and unpaved!), Tom Eng opened the Cathay Inn at 3714 N. Division.

The building was small, only about 30 feet by 60 feet, and squat, though a monumental Statue of Liberty at the roof peak nearly doubled the single-story building’s height.

There were 13 tables. The men’s bathroom was outside.

During busy times, they’d call in a second waitress.

You’d imagine that a Chinese restaurant with a giant Statue of Liberty on top was a strange sight, but back then, in that part of town, buildings of any kind were odd enough. Tom Eng’s son Eddie said that when he came to work at the restaurant in 1952, there were just a handful of restaurants to the south, back toward downtown, and “north was just a few old houses.”

The Cathay Inn grew with Spokane, especially after the Engs bought the land in the 1960s. Eddie doubled the size of the building in 1959 and doubled it again 10 years later. Eddie knocked down a grocery store at the south end of their lot and seven houses to the east to make room for the steady expansion. There were six major construction projects in all and more interior redecorations than Eddie can remember. The current tall, iconic pagoda structure was completed in 1998.

The Cathay Inn turns 60 next Monday, ever under the guidance of the Eng family — first Tom, then Eddie, and now a third and fourth generation, Tom’s grandson Dennis and Dennis’ son Raymond.

To mark the occasion, the Engs will be serving two dishes off the 1950 menu at 1950 prices.

The Combination — Pork Chow mein, sweet and sour ribs and egg foo young — will sell for $1. The China Special — all the same stuff but with prawns instead of egg foo young — will go for $1.25. Those were the most popular items on the menu when it was just Tom and Eddie slaving away in the kitchen. “We sold a ton of those,” Eddie says. “You couldn’t keep up with the cooking.”

At those prices, we imagine the scene will be much the same Monday.

The revelry will only last, though, from noon to 8 pm that day. If you’re charging $1 for a meal, you couldn’t stay in business much longer than that. (Luke Baumgarten)

  • Pin It

Speaking of Opening

  • Love the Liberty
  • Love the Liberty

    MOD lets you choose how your pizza is built
    • May 13, 2015
  • Everything but the Truck
  • Everything but the Truck

    Melone's serves up food truck-style cuisine in a brick-and-mortar restaurant
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • Fated Return
  • Fated Return

    After nearly four years without a home, David's Pizza reopens near the Spokane Arena
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • More »

Latest in Food & Drink

  • Caffeinated Chemistry
  • Caffeinated Chemistry

    Nitro coffee is the newest trend to hit the coffee industry, and Spokane has a few early adopters
    • May 20, 2015
  • Love the Liberty
  • Love the Liberty

    MOD lets you choose how your pizza is built
    • May 13, 2015
  • Chicken Challenge
  • Chicken Challenge

    A Seattle fried chicken empire opens up in Spokane; we measure it against our hometown favorite
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition feat. David Hayes

Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition feat. David Hayes @ Jundt Art Museum

Every other day

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Luke Baumgarten

  • Chasing Whales
  • Chasing Whales

    Let's focus less on courting big companies and focus more on nurturing big ideas
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Completely Repellent
  • Completely Repellent

    How can we expect people to find constructive uses for space that wasn't built for them?
    • Dec 30, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

More by Blair Tellers

  • Hollowed Out
  • Hollowed Out

    Exploring the roots of our pumpkin-carving obsession
    • Oct 23, 2012
  • The River
  • The River

    River creator Oren Peli compares his horror formula to getting a cavity filled.
    • Feb 15, 2012
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Napoleon Dynamite

    Fine, buy why now?
    • Jan 18, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Chicken Challenge

    A Seattle fried chicken empire opens up in Spokane; we measure it against our hometown favorite
    • May 13, 2015
  • The Gender Games

    Why I open doors for dudes
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food

Beer


Food


for your consideration


last word


distilled


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation