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Not your average pubs

click to enlarge The Blackbird
  • The Blackbird

The Backyard The Backyard takes over the former home of the Broadway Bar and Grill, and the former dive bar has been overhauled, both physically and gastronomically. The spot exudes the feel of a neighborhood pub, serving the sort of creative (yet affordable) cuisine that might come as a surprise. With interior walls of reclaimed wood from Kettle Falls, high wooden tables and warm lighting, there's a comforting vibe that's easy to sink into. It's also managed to attract three chefs formerly of Luna on the South Hill; they've created a menu of upscale comfort food like chicken and waffles, mac and cheese and a tasty pub appetizers. 1811 W. Broadway Ave., Spokane • Wash. • 822-7338

The Blackbird Tavern + Kitchen In the historic Broadview Dairy building on the north bank of the Spokane River, the Blackbird is best explained as the more refined version of its pub-food counterpart, Manito Tap House, both owned by local restaurateur Patrick McPherson. A menu of upscale comfort food — with appetizers like "malted waffle hush puppies" and a brisket sandwich on a sticky bun — was influenced by head chef Molly Patrick's upbringing in Atlanta.  905 N. Washington St., Spokane • Wash. • 392-4000

Lantern Taphouse The Lantern Tap House has played a big role in the revitalization of the South Perry neighborhood. The menu's inspiration comes from the desire to offer all scratch-made food that elevates the quality and experience beyond that of typical pubs. And with a commitment to great beer, the Lantern often playing host to a variety of events throughout the year. 1004 S. Perry St., Spokane • Wash. • 315-9531

Manito Tap House  One of the only spots in the region with certified cicerones — the term for a carefully trained beer expert, like a sommelier, but for beer. But this South Hill hangout excels in much more than beer, boasting seasonal menus of made-fresh, from-scratch food that complement whatever you're sipping.  3011 S. Grand Blvd., Spokane • Wash. • 279-2671

Prohibition Prohibition's candy-coated bacon is one highlight of the restaurant's classic gastropub fare, a menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and savory, indulgent appetizers. Chef John Leonetti also makes his own beef patty mix for Prohibition's burgers, adding an unusual ingredient alongside the seasoning: coffee grounds. In the bar, the focus leans toward whiskey, bourbon and scotch, but also features several local and regional beer tap handles and regional wines. 1914 N. Monroe St., Spokane • Wash. • 474-9040

Saranac Public House This gastropub offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan as a matter of course in a laid-back environment, with abundant seating indoors and out. Another reason to like the Saranac Public House on Facebook: They announce specials online. Also, their buffalo chicken sandwich is killer, as is their beer selection. 21 W. Main Ave., Spokane • Wash. • 473-9455

Timber Gastropub Timber isn't just a name. The walls are festooned with sepia-toned photographs of rugged logging operations and rough-cut wood slats, and the servers wear red suspenders and jeans. The menu, designed by executive chef Jeff Chatigny, is an extension of the level of detail throughout Timber. There's the Steak House burger, with crispy onion, blue cheese and housemade pickles on a mix of pork belly and Angus beef. Their pizza is wood-fired to order.  1610 E. Schneidmiller Ave., Post Falls • Idaho • 208-262-9593


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