It's 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday, well past lunchtime and too early for the dinner rush, but Poole's Public House's new location on the South Hill is packed. That's impressive, because the place, next to a fitness center off of Regal Street, is hardly tiny. Equally impressive — it's only been open for a few weeks.
Scott Poole and his wife, Lisa, opened the original Poole's Public House in the spring of 2013 in the Wandermere area of far north Spokane. The pub, with a sizable and wide-ranging menu, quickly became a beloved north-end institution. The Pooles, with a winning formula in hand, figured they would try to replicate their success by opening a second location on the South Hill, where the couple has lived for more than 25 years.
"It's the exact same menu and the same specials that we run up north. The recipe is very much the same, even if the look is quite different," says Poole, who also brought to the South Hill the University of Montana signage and memorabilia — he's an alum — that has made the northside location a favorite for Spokane Griz fans on game days. The menu continues to offer a bevy of sandwiches big enough to split, as well as items like fish tacos, salads, and comfort-food entrées like bangers and mash and baby back ribs.
The location was previously occupied by Rio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse; before that, Somewhere sports bar. The warm colors and pub décor give Poole's a markedly different appearance than either of those establishments. There are ample TVs, a help-yourself popcorn machine and even skee ball.
Poole says his staff has been a bit overwhelmed by the patrons who've packed the place before they could really work out all the quirks. Service was slower than expected, he said, and when we visited, there wasn't an IPA available on tap or in the bottle. It's an OK problem for a young restaurant to have, and Scott says they're thankful that their neighborhood has given them a warm welcome. Now, he hopes they enjoy Poole's food as much as the north side has.
"I honestly think that we offer a good product. The one thing that I'll never skimp on is food," says Poole. ♦
Poole's Public House • 5620 S. Regal, Suite 1 • Open Mon-Fri, 11 am to close; Sat-Sun, 8 am to close • 368-9760 • poolespublichouse.com