by Luke Baumgarten, Tim Bross, Ann M. Colford, Jeff Echert, Jacob H. Fries, Ben Kromer, Mick Lloyd-Owen, Tammy Marshall, Bart Mihailovich, Doug Nadvornick, Clayton Rau, Carrie Scozzaro, Joel Smith, Liz Strauch, Blair Tellers & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & elcome to The Inlander's first ever Bar Guide. At some point in the long, gauzy nights of December, I realized I go to the same five bars, and that I only really like two of them. That's depressing. This watering hole crisis wasn't the birth of the idea of a Bar Guide, but it was certainly the impetus for actually doing it. I needed to find my Cheers. Roughly 700 joints have some sort of booze license in Spokane County alone, so we obviously couldn't hit everywhere. This is the most in-depth area bar guide you're going to find, though, and we pledge, over time, to add to it with all the diligence our livers can muster.
Enclosed, then, find capsule reviews of more than 120 bars stretching from Cheney to downtown Spokane to Sandpoint, wherein we try to match you to your next favorite nightspot using our patented* five points of compatibility. It's like eHarmony for drunks like me. No, drunks like us. Enjoy.
Your search for a new sexy rendezvous spot is officially over. The Artisan Room --dimly lit and conveniently located in the Ridpath -- is filled with potential for your next t & ecirc;te- & agrave;-t & ecirc;te with destiny. (LS)
STYLE: Hotel chic QUAFF: Fruity cocktails and stiffer fare FOOD: Wide range, with the option of small and large plates UPSIDE: Check out the bed
HOURS: Open late most nights
827 W. First Ave. * 847-1234
Though the capacity is hardly more than 20, the Baby Bar's quality belies its size. The best jukebox in town combined with amicable staff and patrons make for what is perhaps ourbest overall bar. The Neato Burrito space is beginning to become an annex of the bar, offering more seating. Plus, they make a mean White Russian. (JE)
STYLE: It's... a bar QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Well, Neato Burrito is next door. UPSIDE: Everything about this bar is an upside.
HOURS: Daily 5 pm-2 am
BIG EASY / ALTER KNIT LOUNGE
919 W. Sprague * 244-3279
The Big Easy's only open for shows and club nights, but on said nights three to four bartenders make sure the booze flows freely, allowing patrons to maximize their music watching and/or groping. New owner the Knitting Factory promises big changes to the historically underutilized standalone bar space formerly known as Bourbon Street (renamed Alter Knit Lounge). (LB)
STYLE: French Quarter QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Bar fare with a slight creole twang UPSIDE: Great concerts, when they happen
HOURS: Big Easy until close on show nights; Bourbon St. (oops, Alter Knit) Tue-Sat 4pm-close
108 N. Post * 624-8464
When Bistango opened, the built-in waterfall, gently twinkling fiber optics in the ceiling and the exceptionally high production values made walking into the joint feel like the hippest thing a Spokie could do. Two years later, the effect is about the same. (LB)
STYLE: Glitterati QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Small plates UPSIDE: Feels exclusive because of size (and prices) but staff is incredibly down-to-earth
HOURS: Mon-Sat 2 pm-2 am
830 W. Sprague * 747-2111
Gosh, this place is pretty. The blue walls are pretty, the tropical fish tanks are pretty and even the sushi's pretty. This is the bar to which you want to bring a first date. Have a couple cocktails and then order the California rolls. If you can't stand each other by then, mosey on your way and neither of you can complain. (TM)
STYLE: Martini/sushi lounge QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Best sushi in town UPSIDE: The atmosphere and the ambience can make the crappiest of dates seem fun.
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-midnight, Sat 4 pm-midnight
15 S. Howard St. * 838-5787
Sometimes it's a music venue. Other times it's for trivia. Most times it's a meat market (though a somewhat classier, less slutty one than other famed flesh purveyors). Whatever the case, it's the Spark: centrally located, well stocked (24 handles) and, come 1 am, usually muggy with revelers. (JS)
STYLE: 20-something trolling QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Pizza, sandwiches, pretzels, snacks UPSIDE: Spend the night bouncing between here and Raw Sushi across the street and you've got some of the best people-watching in the city.
HOURS: Daily 2 pm-2 am
333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
The Blvd is the grungiest live music venue in Spokane, like our own CBGBs but not outright disgusting. Plus they keep it real with 16-ounce cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Why would someone go to a bar and drink the exact same beer they can get at any gas station? Possibly because it's cheap and the cover can be as much as $7. (BK)
STYLE: Rock, hip-hop club QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: BBQ? Hell, yes UPSIDE: Spacious smoking area in back
HOURS: Tue-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun- Mon 4 pm-2 am
122 S. Monroe St.
Right next door to favorite lunch spot the Brooklyn Deli, this spinoff hosts live music in an intimate, somewhat cave-like space in the alley behind Far West Billiards and Catacombs. With a full (though not extensive) bar, access to all the fresh sandwiches from the deli (until 11 pm) and a delightfully out-of-tune piano, this joint should be on every downtown drinker's weekend itinerary. (JS)
STYLE: Alley QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Fresh sandwiches UPSIDE: Good music, a couple of TVs and those sandwiches
HOURS: Weekdays 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat until close
7 N. Post St. * 747-9750
Cavallino has a slickness and intimacy belying the fact that it's a hotel bar (inside the Lusso). Dark and walled in with red brick, it's the hipper, quieter, smaller alternative to the Peacock Room across the street. Plus, they make a mean Bloody Caesar. (JS)
STYLE: Chi-chi QUAFF: Full cocktails, wine, beer FOOD: Appetizers from Fugazzi next door UPSIDE: The ambience. Red brick and candlelight make this a good place for a post-dinner-date drink and a chat.
HOURS: Weekdays 4-11 pm, Sat-Sun 4 pm-1 am
165 S. Post St. * 747-7463
The glimmering mahogany and light piano tinkling that greet you set the tone for this top-drawer steakhouse. Tiptoe downstairs to the bar to find a slightly less formal experience (with a full menu available), as well as a members-only cigar room. (LS)
STYLE: Classy wine-and-dine QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits including scotch, martinis FOOD: Melt- in-your-mouth dry-aged beef and seasonal seafood UPSIDE: Extraordinary bar service makes this the place to relish the rest of your evening
HOURS: Lunch, daily 11 am-2 pm, Dinner 4 pm-10 pm or later
332 N. Spokane Falls Ct.
Whether you're stealing into Spokane for an overnight, or just out dallying around the city looking for a nice time, C.I. Shenanigan's is an unexpected haven nestled between the river and the Convention Center. Order their One Hot Mary to get that ol' vim and vigor going, or try a beer or two from their own Big Horn Brewery (the amber is quite lovely). (LS)
STYLE: Brewery plus QUAFF: Beer, wine, cocktails FOOD: Seafood, nachos, burgers, etc. UPSIDE: Easy parking, great for large crowds
HOURS: Weekends until 2 am
516 W. Main Ave.
Though it's perhaps better known for its pies, Cyrus O'Leary's has a serviceable bar, too. Same bric-a-brac everywhere, same creepy trapeze-artist-clown thing, same train running through the restaurant. But, you know, with booze. A huge moose with a Bubba Gump hat and a cig between its lips lords over the Beer, wine, spirits and 13 draft beers. Happy hour. Beer, wine, spirits. TVs. (JS)
STYLE: Restaurant kitsch QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Salads, sandwiches, pasta, meat, pies UPSIDE: A good happy hour and a lot of TVs to take your mind off the crap on the walls
Spokane's premiere gay dance club is known to be very straight friendly, though that's probably just to encourage straights to come in, dance and be laughed at. At least that's what I'd do if I were a gay Dempsey's patron, but they're probably not as mean as me, and obviously much better dancers. (BK)
STYLE: Dance club QUAFF: Beer, spirits, wine FOOD: Dinner food, lounge food UPSIDE: Dempsey's is great if you're sick of watching girls dance sluttily, which for some reason I am.
HOURS: Sun-Thu 3 pm-2 am, Fri-Sat 3 pm-4 am
ELLA'S SUPPER CLUB
1017 W. First * 74-STAGE
Don't let the thought of Will Ferrell playing "Aqualung" deceive you: Jazz is hip. Located within walking distance of wherever you are downtown, ella's is a quirky little place to grab a drink and appetizers. An eclectic atmosphere and live jazz tunes make ella's the most unique downtown joint. (BM)
STYLE: Lounge/jazz club QUAFF: Wine, cocktails FOOD: Appetizers and full menu, a little pricey for supper, though UPSIDE: Convenient seating for easy socializing; look outside and watch an old black and white film
HOURS Tue-Wed 5-11 pm, Thu-Sat 5 pm-1 am
THE ELK PUBLIC HOUSE
1931 W. Pacific * 363-1973
Don't expect the bartenders to be excited to see you, but let's be
honest, that hard-to-get front they put on hooks us every time. Located in Browne's Addition, right next to one of Spokane's only glorious roundabouts, the Elk is an old standby for a less-than-pretentious food and beverage experience. Seasonal cocktails are offered, but it's really all about the beer. Ask for a few samples. (LS)
STYLE: Neighborhood pub QUAFF: Beer, with some seasonal specialties, and scotch FOOD: One of the best Reubens in town UPSIDE: Reliably good, no matter how busy
HOURS: Open until midnight
154 S. Madison St.
This coffeehouse bar makes up for its relatively slim booze selection (four or five wines, three rotating micros on tap, about a dozen bottled beers) by being one of the city's most important live music venues, with two stages, including a dedicated listening room. The perfect place to catch a few shows before your serious drinking. (JS)
STYLE: Coffee bar QUAFF: Beer, wine FOOD: Baked goods UPSIDE: The music, ambience and people watching. They're also pretty psyched about their new Guinness surger system.
HOURS: Mon-Sat until about 11 pm
EUROPA PIZZERIA & amp; BAKERY
125 S. Wall St. * 455-4051
Whether you want to talk shop or catch up with a friend, Europa is a fine lounge for just that. Just don't talk too loud; it sounds like a cave in there. Europa's fancy European d & eacute;cor is quite comfy,
whether it's a wraparound booth or high-back chairs. Show up on Tuesdays for half off selected wine bottles. (BM)
STYLE: wine/cocktail lounge QUAFF: Wine, martinis FOOD: Killer pie and Italian cuisine UPSIDE: Feels like grandma's house, surprisingly good tap beer selection
HOURS: Daily 11 am-midnight
FAR WEST BILLIARDS
1001 W. First Ave.
Located in the heart of the Davenport Arts District, wedged between CenterStage, Catacombs, the Fox Theater and the Big Easy, Far West is like the bus station of the downtown bar scene -- it's huge, it's central and everybody seems to pass through there at some point on weekend nights. It boasts high ceilings, a deep jukebox, dartboards and six of the finest (Brunswick Gold Crown IV) pool tables in town. They charge accordingly. (JS)
STYLE: Pool QUAFF: Beer, cocktails, wine FOOD: Sandwiches, salads, teriyaki, fish tacos and bountiful apps UPSIDE: Location, location, location
HOURS: Daily until close
1 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Don't be confused by the 12 flat-screens casting their warm glow upon patrons here -- your average sports bar this ain't. Easy-rider bicycles and surfboards hang from the ceilings, and the low lighting gives the place a sense of impending doom: Are those boards and bikes gonna fall on me? The only thing that hits is reality. The service is great, the bar-goers hot and the drinks reasonably priced. Consider Eddie's part of Spokane's late-night royal family. (TB)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, cocktails FOOD: The usual suspects -- sandwiches, burgers, salad UPSIDE: Eddie's has the-place-to-be status
HOURS: Mon-Sat 11 am-2 pm, Sun noon-2 pm
GLOBE BAR & amp; GRILL
204 N. Division * 744-0438
"I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch." Ron Burgundy would be right at home among the 24 varieties of hard-to-pronounce Scotch whisky offered here. He'd be similarly at home with the loudmouth regulars who frequent the place and the bartender who sounds strikingly like Super Dave Osborne. (JS)
STYLE: Pub QUAFF: Scotch, beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Eclectic -- pasta, steak, sandwiches (including a killer muffuletta), ridiculously good waffle fries UPSIDE: Pool tables, booths with coat hooks. And did we mention the scotch?
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat- Sun 4 pm-2 am
HEROES & amp; LEGENDS
825 W. Riverside * 747-2085
Downtown's premier place to watch the game, better than average bar food, better than average beer selection and a million TVs ensure at least decent game-viewing experience, if you get there early enough to get a seat (two hour minimum for Zags' games). (LB)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Upgraded bar fare. The nachos are good. UPSIDE: Trivia machines help distract from the endless -- foul, free throw, foul, free throw, time out, foul, etc -- final moments of basketball games.
HOURS: Sun- Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11 am-2 am
HILL'S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
401 W. Main Ave. * 747-3946
It doesn't have the neighborly feel of the old place, which was torn down with the Rookery Block three years ago, but it does still have the neighbors -- "everybody from skaters to lawyers," says Steve Hill. Belly up. Their tap selection is usually unusual, and they have surprising reserves of port and scotch. (JS)
STYLE: Restaurant QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Extremely varied menu -- everything from chicken pancetta and brie to Singapore street noodles and New York pepper steak, plus many celebrated appetizers UPSIDE: See "Food"
HOURS: Mon-Sat 11 am-10 pm
821 E. Third Ave. * 534-7777
The bar at Shogun (known primarily for its sushi and hibachi steaks) is an unexpectedly great find. The decor is authentically Japanese, with samurai armor and ukiyo-e carvings lining the walls. Though it's primarily a waiting area for when the restaurant gets crowded, Shogun's lounge would be a great place to spend the evening in its own right. (JE)
STYLE: Sushi house QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sushi, primarily UPSIDE: Extensive liquor selection, great atmosphere
HOURS: Daily 5-9:30 pm
415 W. Sprague * 624-4450
It's a gay bar -- sort of. All walks of life come through Irv's. Gay, straight or just unexposed -- you never know what you'll find here. It, of course, has club nights on Friday and Saturday on the tiny dance floor. The best part is that in the back there's plenty of seating with pool tables where you can kick back and hang with your friends. (TM)
STYLE: Club/gay bar QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Burgers, sandwiches and salads UPSIDE: Those into people-watching will want to come here.
HOURS: Daily 2 pm-2 am
21 W. Main Ave. * 624-0660
Now this place has class. Isabella's, located right next to the Magic Lantern Theatre in downtown Spokane, is perhaps the premiere date destination in Spokane. Soft blue lighting permeates the dining area, ensuring that whatever physical flaws your significant other may possess, you won't be able to make them out. Beers such as the aptly named Irish Death, a thick, dark concoction, complement hearty steaks and seafood. Make this a priority destination. (JE)
STYLE: Classy QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full restaurant, check out the crab dip UPSIDE: Classy as all hell, intimate acoustic performances
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-midnight, Sat 6:30 pm-midnight, Sun 6:30-10 pm
521 W. Sprague * 838-7613
Talk about a lot of liquor. This gin joint has everything. The bartender has to have a ladder to get to all the bottles. Seating is plentiful here for those who like to sit at the bar and chat with the bartender, and for those who want a faraway corner to chat with a friend. (TM)
STYLE: Classy gin joint QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: This is the place to get pork shanks UPSIDE: Jimmy'Z hired a new chef to change their menu, so they have it all from prime rib to salmon to salads. Jimmy'Z got class.
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 6 pm-2 am
230 S. Washington St.
If you're not friends with Judi, you might as well go home. This is truly a place where everybody knows your name, and if they don't, they aren't about to learn it now. (LS)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer FOOD: Maybe? UPSIDE: Paula Abdul doesn't know your name, either, but at least she'll sing to you over the loudspeaker outside to comfort you as you walk away with your tail between your legs.
HOURS: You'll know when the time is right to leave.
THE LAMP POST
408 W. Sprague * 624-8624
Located next door to Mootsy's, this place is easy to walk by and miss. It's easier to go in, realize it's cash-only and leave to never return. Woe to anyone who walks away, though, for they're missing out on one of the core's best places to talk, mullet-watch and get your ass handed to you in a game of 9-ball. (LB)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, wine FOOD: Not much (hot sausages, peanuts, etc.) UPSIDE:Prompt bartenders, affable Spokie clientele, occasional games of fly-up with Nerf footballs.
HOURS Mon-Sat late, Sun until midnight
205 W. Riverside Ave.
Lion's Lair is serving TV dinners until their kitchen is up and running. Until then you can drink and look at the art on the walls, which is currently painted snowboards. Not much else to say, save that I searched in vain for any lions. The bar shares a bathroom with Prago next door. Boola boola! (BK)
STYLE: Hip-hop theme QUAFF: Beer, spirits, wine FOOD: Kitchen coming soon UPSIDE: A second level from which to look down on the other patrons
HOURS: Tue-Fri 3 pm-2 am, Sat-Mon 5 pm-2 am
MAYFAIR CAF & Eacute; LOUNGE
202 S. Washington St.
The second-to-last time we ventured into the Mayfair a guy with a wizard beard and an Otto Zehm button asked us if we had any morphine before we even got in the door. The last time, we got a hot tip on a trailer park in the Valley where we could find some primo mustache wax. Ah, the Mayfair. Fifty-cent pool. Surly regulars. Suspicious bartenders. Terrifying bathrooms. It all adds up to possibly the best dive in Spokane. (JS)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: TV dinners UPSIDE: Cheap pool
HOURS: Daily 8 am-close (can vary)
214 N Howard * 747-2004
Great wine selection and decent everything else in an excellent, dark, slightly boheme setting. They served the best straight mojito in Spokane before every bar in town went simple syrup crazy and started offering the drink in every color of the rainbow. Despite the saturation, Mizuna still has the best. Not cheap but what is? (LB)
What can you write about Mootsy's that hasn't already been written, other than if you're reading about this joint for the first time, you must be new to town. So ubiquitous for so many people, it inspires "seriously, not Mootsy's again"-type backlash, but honestly, we've never had a bad time there. (LB)
STYLE: Hipster dive QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Hungry Man dinners UPSIDE: It's an institution.
HOURS: Mon-Sat 2pm-2am, Sun 2pm-midnight
NIKO'S WINE BAR
725 W. Riverside Ave.
Sitting in Niko's Wine Bar is like sitting in a well-furnished home library, except you're surrounded not by books, but by shelves of wine bottles. The atmosphere is calm with dark wood paneling, warm lighting, jazz piped in through the sound system. It's a place for enjoying good wine and good conversation. (DN) STYLE: Upscale QUAFF: Wine FOOD: Mediterranean style; beef, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes UPSIDE: The wine "tours" allow you to sample three "themed wines" from different regions.
HOURS: Sun- Wed 4-10 pm, Thu-Sat 4-11 pm
O'DOHERTY'S IRISH GRILLE
525 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
O'Doherty's is where you take visitors from out of town. It's also where you go hoping to see someone stand on the bar and sing for a chance to put a dollar bill on the wall. Great food, and even better tap beers like Guinness and Harp -- O'Doherty's is Spokane Drinking 101. (BM)
STYLE: Pub QUAFF: Tap beer and the Irish Trash Can FOOD: Irish-themed bar food; try the pastie UPSIDE: Irish d & eacute;cor, countdown clock to St. Patrick's Day, authentic Spokane
This is a little slice of Northwest traditionalism, with hearty burgers and onion rings to go along with old-fashioned beer on tap. Friendly, prompt service is a plus, but the kitschy decor does little to separate the place from any identical roadside diner atmosphere. Not the kind of place you'd go to have just a beer, but taking one with a meal would be a great idea. (JE)
STYLE: Restaurant QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Well, it's a restaurant -- figure it out UPSIDE: Great service, decent beer
HOURS: Sun-Thu 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-1 am
10 S. Post * 455-8888
The Davenport's signature swill spot has a gaudy luxury feel similar to the hotel itself. The stained-glass ceiling is gorgeous and the peacock wallpaper lends the place a nice bit of gilded age opulence. Alone these elements would seem dynamic, together the effect is a little garish. Come for the powerbrokering, stay for the absurd vodka selection. (LB)
STYLE: High-end hotel QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits, top shelf FOOD: Small plates, entrees provided by Palm Court Grille UPSIDE: Great bar stools. Best chance in Spokane of spotting Mark Fuhrman
HOURS: Fri-Sat 11 am to 1 am, Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight
PRAGO ARGENTINE CAFE
201 W. Riverside * 443-0404
Whether it's live music or Guitar Hero competitions, Prago is a haven for Spokane hipsters. With a dim, soft ambience and plenty of comfortable seating, it's a perfect place to chat on a weekend night or see a decent band play an understated set. (JE)
Let's be blunt: if you want to dance but don't want to molest/be molested, your downtown choices are basically Raw and Dempsey's. Raw's dance offerings are way off mainstream (world beat, dance hall, etc) but never alienating. Go to hear music you've never heard, but can't help shaking your ass to. Table service is a bit slow, but the waitresses make you wait with a smile. The bar is a quick alternative. (LB)
STYLE: Nightclubby QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Uh, sushi UPSIDE: The music and ambience
HOURS: Mon-Wed 11 am-9 pm, Thu-Fri 11 am-midnight, Sat 4:30 pm-midnight, Sun 4-8 pm
RED LION BBQ
126 N. Division * 835-5466
A little light on TVs for a sports bar, but if you can handle, like, only having 10 biggish screens, this is a hell of a place to sit down to a televised sporting event and a platter of barbecue. The food is great, the beer selection is good enough, the tables (esp. the back room) are made for packing in the homies. The bartenders seem to know much of the clientele, lending the place a neighborhood vibe right in downtown. (LB)
Among the darkest bars you'll find downtown (and maybe the darkest bar in any mall anywhere in America), which we love. Doesn't quite have the cache (or the pretension) of Twigs two floors up, so it's great for a quiet drink before a movie or concert or anything you'd want to do in downtown's NW quadrant. (LB)
STYLE: Slick, dark mall QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits featuring the Blue Martini FOOD: Full menu UPSIDE: Its darkness
HOURS: Sun-Thu 11 am-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-10:30 pm; Lounge is open until midnight
111 S. Post * 789-6800
Like everything about the Davenport Tower, the Safari Room tries really, really hard to show up the Peacock Room, its big brother next door at the Davenport proper, fighting foundation-deep opulence with tacked-on garishness. A bar for our times, then. Big points, though, for doing things almost as well as its sibling, usually for less money. (LB)
STYLE: Upscale QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits, top shelf FOOD: Davenport Lite UPSIDE: Same cashews as across the street
HOURS: Daily 6 am-10 pm;
Bar: Mon-Thu 11 am - 1 am,
Fri-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun noon-midnight
425 W. Sprague * 624-3952
The recently renovated Satellite still slings the best drunk food downtown to a hodgepodge of wayward youth that calls to mind the ruined geniuses of Ginsberg's Howl. It's so damn lucky that the only late-night diner downtown is as good as the Satellite is. The bar is dope because ... well, because it's attached to the diner. (LB)
HOURS: Mon-Fri 7 am-4 pm, Sat-Sun 8 am-4 pm, lounge open daily from 11:30 am-2 am
STEAM PLANT GRILL
159 S. Lincoln St.
The Steam Plant Grill is known as a quality restaurant, as well it should be. But the bar itself is quality, too. From the central pit that serves as the bar's location, you're able to check out the entire restaurant, play pool and watch local teams play the latest games. Plus, they have what is quite literally the best beer in the world: the vanilla bourbon stout. (JE)
STYLE: Restaurant lounge QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Bar appetizers including onion rings and steak strips UPSIDE: Great atmosphere, friendly staff, the vanilla bourbon stout.
HOURS: Sun-Thu 11 am-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-11 pm
1904 W. 5th * 458-2337
Situated south of the Sunset Hwy but north of the tracks (and thus still in Browne's Addition), The Swamp's a dip from downtown proper and kinda hard to find if you haven't been before, making it a great choice for people in the scene seeking to escape it. It's nice without being too cool, clean without being clinical and it has a lot of nice little touches, like the outdoor fireplace on the smoking porch -- and also, you know, the fact that there's a smoking porch. (LB)
Drinking sake is great, but drinking sake by the glow of arcade games is even better. This lounge gets a little drafty in the winter and muggy in the summer, but the experience always outweighs the elements. The staff does what they can to make you feel right at home (and sometimes that means bringing out the space heater). (LS)
STYLE: Hole-in-the-wall QUAFF: Sake, beer FOOD: Sushi served until around 11 pm UPSIDE: Interesting ambience enhanced by its long history as a Spokane staple
HOURS: Daily until around 2 am
211 N. Division * 747-8940
You've seen the "Jagah-bombs" video on YouTube, right? The guy with the new haircut? Well, if that guy came to Spokane, he'd hit 211 first. They LOVE their Jagermeister -- the joint features no less than three suspiciously large posters -- and there's enough Red Bull (an entire refrigerator) to make your heart explode. Oh yeah, there's usually a cover charge, too. (TB)
STYLE: Dance club QUAFF: Jagah-bombs! And beer FOOD: Barbeque courtesy of the Red Lion, pizza UPSIDE: Lots of cocktail-toting 20- somethings, smoking patio, dance floor
HOURS: Mon-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sun
6 pm-2 am
TRICK SHOT DIXIE
321 W. Sprague * 624-4549
Imagine a place where women drink Long Island Ice Teas for $1 on Wednesday. And imagine that same place with a mechanical bull. Now imagine a woman after a few of those Long Islands on that bull... I'm just saying. Anyway, a large flag hangs here, and the atmosphere is inviting and fun. If one thing is for sure about this place: They love 'Merica. (TB)
STYLE: Southern-style, with dancing QUAFF: Beer, cocktails, wine FOOD: Burgers, etc. UPSIDE: Mechanical bull, ladies night on Wednesday
HOURS: Tue-Sat 11am-2am
TWIGS BISTRO DOWNTOWN
808 W. Main * 232-3376
Something of a phenomenon, Twigs downtown is the showcase establishment of a booze and food empire that stretches from south Regal to Farwell. Boasting a full menu of occasionally inspired fare, martinis are the true specialty here (but really, at this point, where aren't they the specialty?) (LB)
STYLE: Upscale mall QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits, top-ish shelf FOOD: Full menu with a few gems (the pork sammy, the curried chicken, the fries) UPSIDE: Last place to get drunk before your friends drag you to a movie you don't want to see
HOURS: Sun-Thu 11 am-10 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-11 pm
WILD SAGE BISTRO
916 W. Second Ave.
A place that's known as one of Spokane's better restaurants also has an interesting drink menu. Besides the four beers on tap and a good wine selection, scotch and bourbon fans have lots of choices. Ever tried an espresso martini? Or, if you're a teetotaler, you can pick from several tasty non-alcoholic drinks. (Try the virgin hibiscus mojito.) (DN)
STYLE: Restaurant QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Wide-ranging; full meals or small plates UPSIDE: Comfortable, quiet enough to have a casual conversation
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-11 pm, Sat 4-11 pm
230 W. Riverside Ave.
This place is dank, dark and full of heavily tattooed patrons listening to heavy music. It's a great place to get drunk, and after an evening of heavy drinking, you know you've had a good time when the bartender has convinced your roommate to take off his shirt and dance on the tabletop. That's right, his. The bartender was very convincing. (JE)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Little, if any UPSIDE: Great place to see a band and get drunk, persuasive staff
HOURS: Daily 5 pm-close
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BRICKWALL COMEDY CLUB
105 E. Mission Ave.
Owner/comic Chris Warren lords over the only comedy club in Spokane with a high-energy mix of politically incorrect rants, wiener jokes, Mariner-bashing and -- strangely -- an almost touching sense of support and compassion for first-time and novice comedians. The club's Sunday night open mic series has birthed many a professional comic, and its weekly competitions draw a full house at their new location near Gonzaga. (JS)
STYLE: Comedy club QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pasta, salad, meat UPSIDE: Getting to drink and laugh at all the naughty words you don't hear on Comedy Central
HOURS: Daily, until close
BROADWAY BAR & amp; GRILL
1811 W. Broadway Ave.
Inside is like outside -- Spartan, function above form. Neon beer signs light the establishment, which is frequented by regulars whose drinking habits are well known to the attentive bartender. It is not so much a place to take a date, as it is a joint to do some unadulterated boozing far from judging eyes. (JF)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Limited bar food UPSIDE: Two pool tables and hard-drinking patrons who won't talk your ear off
HOURS: Weekdays until 10 pm, weekends until 2 am
905 N. Washington St.
Like Empyrean, Caterina Winery's draw as a destination bar has more to do with its musical offerings than its alcoholic ones. Caterina is one of the premier venues in the local music scene (even more so since their recent renovations), but its bar shouldn't be overlooked, either, what with its dozen varietals of Washington-grown wine. (We're big fans of the viognier and the cab-sauv.) (JS)
STYLE: Winery QUAFF: Wine/beer FOOD: Snacks UPSIDE: Pairing wine with folk, rock, hip-hop and indie music is way more exciting than pairing it with cheese.
HOURS: Sun-Thu noon-5 pm. Fri-Sat 5 pm-midnight
CHARLEY'S GRILL & amp; SPIRITS
801 N. Monroe * 328-8911
Down the street from the county jail, this institution is a good, respectable place to have your last meal ---- or better yet, last drink -- before going to the klink. More lunch-time restaurant than bar, it has plenty of tables where you'll find all the pub standards, plus a few surprises like potstickers and coconut shrimp. (JF)
STYLE: Neighborhood QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Lots of appetizers, burgers, pasta UPSIDE: Pleasant service, quiet enough at night to chat with friends and nosh on goodies
HOURS: Late except on Sunday
621 W. Mallon * 328-5965
With a wide selection of mojitos, martinis, and cosmos, Clinkerdagger's provides a pinnacle of fine dining and drinking. Of course, with such finery comes a hefty price tag, and one or two drinks will run you into double digits. Coming during either of the happy hours though, from 4-6 pm or after 9, will net you a classic mojito or margarita for just $3. (JE)
STYLE: Restaurant bar QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full restaurant, delicious sweet potato fries UPSIDE: Fantastic drinks, great food, entertaining bartenders
The lounge at Downriver Grill is usually pretty full with regulars lining the bar and others waiting to be seated in the main restaurant. Tip though: the two stools on the far left of the bar are hemmed in by a weird pillar thing and are usually open, making it a nice cozy place to chat, snuggle, or because of the serendipitous position of a TV above the bar, catch the game. (LB)
STYLE: Dark wood and copper QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits, good wine, top shelf liqs UPSIDE: That little nook, calamari, attentive bartenders, ESPN
HOURS: Open until 9 pm.
MILFORD'S FISH HOUSE
719 N. Monroe St. * 326-7251
Beautifully restored, the place is inviting, as are the employees. It's perfect for an after-work drink or a special night out on the town. Get a booth, split an appetizer, sip your cocktail and rub elbows with some of the city's upper crust. (JF)
STYLE: Upscale QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Lots o' fish, squid, octopus, clams, oysters, which can be had in main courses or appetizers UPSIDE: You can get a sample before choosing your beer
HOURS: Sun-Mon 4-9 pm; Tue-Sat 5-10 pm
PARKER'S BAR & amp; GRILL
1011 W. Broadway
Next to Charley's and Milford's, it has almost everything you could want -- video games, TV, pull tabs, a nice staff and decent food. Ambiance, well, not so much, but hey, this is place to watch the Zags, not snuggle. (JF)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Pub standards UPSIDE: Pool tables, several TVs for requisite game watching, helpful staff
HOURS: Mon-Fri to 2 am, Sat to close
1220 N. Howard * 328-4898
Located across from the Arena, The Ticket is ideal for getting your game face on, or drinking away a tough loss. Testosterone aside, The Ticket is where to play shuffleboard. Get a partner, grab one of many beers on tap, and don't overwax the shuff tables. And no, it's not sand. (BM)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer and shots FOOD: All the bar food you can handle UPSIDE: Big screen TVs, occasional poker, tons of parking, likely to see a domestic disturbance
HOURS: Daily 11 am-late
1221 N. Stevens * 326-2942
OMG so much beer! OMG free pop corn! OMG circular, open-air fireplace/firepit thingie! OMG shuffleboard! OMG breakfast?! Just when you thought the best beer bar in Spokane couldn't do anything to improve its rep as the pretension-free spot for beer snobs, they start slinging eggs on the weekends. They've also recently started hosting live music select weekend nights. (LB)
STYLE: English beer hall QUAFF: Uh, beer FOOD: Great bar menu. Try a Black Russian UPSIDE: Beer
HOURS: Mon-Sat 11 am-close
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1228 S. Grand * 456-0500
The bar area is small, right inside the front door, but the restaurant seating is intimate and comfortable, and the drinks -- especially the fruit infusions and house-made sangria -- are worth checking out. If you're feeling friendly, bartender Eric VanderWegen is happy to visit between orders; if not, there's a TV overhead, usually tuned to sports. (AC)
STYLE: Comfortably urbane QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Good selection of creative and sharable tapas and small plates UPSIDE: Friendly servers, red sangria and the amazing mango infusion
HOURS: Tue-Sat 4 pm-close
619 BAR & amp; GRILL
619 S. Washington * 624-8818
The first thing that happened when I got to the 619 was the bartender showed me the gnarly new blisters on her hand. That's the kind of personal connection I crave when I go to a bar. I also desire a pool table (check) and plenty of room to walk around and fall over and then roll around (also check). Free Texas Hold 'em Tournaments where you can win $50 are also a big bonus. (BK)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, spirits FOOD: Sandwiches UPSIDE: Conveniently located near hospital
HOURS: 11 am-2 am
2911 E. 57th * 448-5707
The latest entry from the people who brought Spokane Vin Rouge, Hangar 57 is an aviation-themed sports bar (formerly Pepperdine's) with a massive martini selection, a penchant for beer pong and a taste for New York-style pizza. They've got an admirable suds selection, with stuff like Old Chub and Bitburger. (JS)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Great pizza, a menu full of interesting and upscale pub fare UPSIDE: A jam-packed events calendar, with drinking games, ladies' nights, sports and many specials
HOURS: Tue-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun-Mon 11 am-midnight
110 E. 4th Ave. * 747-3371
Formerly Brickwall, this bar in the basement of the Quality Inn displays books in cases around the low-ceiling room and regularly plays host to middle-aged women shaking it to cover bands on the tiny dance floor. (JS)
STYLE: Hotel QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Order off the menu from the restaurant upstairs UPSIDE: A plush booth in a dark corner of the room behind the pool table gives you a nice, secluded vantage point for people-watching (and pointing and laughing).
HOURS: Weekdays 4 pm-midnight, Fri-Sat 2 pm-2 am
5620 S. Perry St.
The lighting is warm and comfortable yet not overly bright. Pale-hued walls soar to the peaked oak ceiling; the bistro tables and bar are marble, and a huge chandelier hangs above the window in the floor overlooking the wine cellar. Patrons tend toward the professional -- stylish and well coifed. But the lounge is more casual, making it a great place to strike up a conversation. (AC)
STYLE: Urban/suburban chic QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits, and the wine list rocks FOOD: Full restaurant selections, great wood-fired thin-crust pizzas UPSIDE: Fabulous wine selection, knowledgeable servers, and you can order off the dinner menu
Tucked underneath Gottschalks on the corner of Grand and 29th, the Pear Tree Inn is a pleasant little neighborhood place with a small lounge hidden behind the main restaurant. The regulars chat like old friends, and karaoke night on Saturdays and Sundays is sure to please the singing crowd. (JE)
STYLE: Neighborhood QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sandwiches and burgers (including a mean Reuben) UPSIDE: Friendly staff and clientele, pool tables
HOURS: Daily 11:30 am-2 am
2013 E. 29th Ave.
This intimate brick-oven pizzeria is a great place to start out the evening with a glass of wine and specialty pie. Best for the self-sufficient wine-and-diners who don't require a lot of fuss or attention from waitstaff and prefer the occasional check-in. (LS)
STYLE: Pizzeria QUAFF: Wine, martinis FOOD: Salads, pizzas, panini UPSIDE:Reasonably priced wines by the glass
HOURS: Tue-Sat until 9 pm, Sun until 8 pm
3029 E. 29th Ave.
The wine list is strong, as befits the name, and there's a good selection of signature cocktails, from traditional to over-the-top. Featured drafts and wine flights vary daily. The food spans from pub-style sandwiches to elegant. The interior is cool and sophisticated. (AC)
STYLE: Sleek contemporary QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full restaurant menu, plus social hour menu offered late afternoon and from 9 pm to close UPSIDE: Chef Tim Hartman might just join you at the bar if the dinner rush is over.
Gonzaga's guilty pleasure, the Bulldog boasts plywood floors, a hunting video game and a bathroom with exactly two toilets and no privacy. But the bar has popcorn. And it has a campy atmosphere that is made charming by very good service. Don't try diving into the Bulldog after a home men's basketball game, though: The Kennel Club often holds their post-game revelries here. In other words, beware of 'Dog. (TB)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, cocktails; if you are drinking the wine here, seek professional help FOOD: Meager (burgers) UPSIDE: Great service, dorky/fun atmosphere
HOURS: Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun noon-2 am
829 E. Boone Ave.
David's basically sits on the Gonzaga campus, so it's no wonder the atmosphere caters to those who prefer beer and 'za to the library. Large tables are perfect for group study or extreme finger football. Unwind with a 12-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon and slice of pie for $2.50. David's also sells 24-ounce PBRs -- not many places can boast that. (BM)
STYLE: Sports/pizza QUAFF: Beer FOOD: Spokane's best pizza 11 years running UPSIDE: Old school TMNT arcade game, great for watching sports
HOURS: Daily 10:30 am-9 pm
JACK AND DAN'S
1226 N. Hamilton St.
The centerpiece of Gonzaga's late-night scene, the bar is a several-block stumble from GU's campus. It gets bonus points for classic d & eacute;cor and a collegiate environment. Also, it loses points for classic d & eacute;cor and a collegiate environment. The service is inconsistent, but it's the hotspot for Gonzaga students. Like, if you weren't there Friday night, you weren't anywhere. (LB)
STYLE: Poor man's country club QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Try the mini-burgers or the Friday special: fish and chips. The grub is good. UPSIDE: College-aged hotties, random appearances by washed-up Gonzaga basketball players
HOURS: Mon-Sat 10 am-2 am, Sun noon-midnight
NORTHERN LIGHTS BREWING CO.
1003 E. Trent Ave.
Head brewer Mark Irvin knows what he's doing, and he proves it with a 10-beer sampler platter that runs the scales from a smooth cr & egrave;me ale to the rich, dark chocolate dunkel. While not the most happening nightlife spot, given its weird location in a strip mall on the outskirts of Gonzaga, Northern Lights remains a Mecca for serious beer drinkers. (JS)
STYLE: Microbrewery QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, a sausage platter and some suicidally spicy Buffalo wings (don't even think about going past three on the five-point scale) UPSIDE: Tour the brewhouse, then Dry Fly's distillery, right next door
The Star is the black sheep of the U-district: It's too trashy for college kids. But when trashed, "trashy" has its allure. Thursday night is the Star at its best, as the joint hosts a brand of drunken karaoke. That's right, you too can woo homegirl Crystal by serenading her with "The Final Countdown." Meanwhile, everyone else will look on bemusedly as they bleed from their ears. (TB)
STYLE: Dive QUAFF: Beer, spirits FOOD: American and Chinese cuisine UPSIDE: The interior and people will make you feel better about your dorm room and friends, respectively.
HOURS: Daily noon-1:45 am; restaurant not open on Sunday
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633 W. Garland Ave.
Sneeky Pete's is a small sports bar in a series of Garland sports bars, stuck randomly in a strip mall of all places. But it's a fun little place with plenty of TVs to watch the various games, or just enjoy a drink at a bar stuffed with snarky signs. The staff is quite friendly and the patrons mixed. (JE)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sammiches UPSIDE: Plenty of viewing space and televisions, friendly atmosphere
HOURS: 5 pm-close
921 W. Garland Ave.
The roomy bar area at Rick's Ringside (with plans to expand) is a fine choice for watching local sports events, with the staff promising that they'll either already have or manage to obtain cable feeds for major local games. The friendly bar staff have their own repertoire of customized drinks, including the apple-tinged Apocalypto. (JE)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Fast, fried food UPSIDE: Magnanimous, talkative staff, large projector for major games
HOURS: 6 pm-close
808 W. Garland Ave.
The Brown Derby has an initial strike for not serving spirits, though as a relatively low-key neighborhood bar far from downtown, the cocktail is not likely to be its major ware. It's cheap and divey, so you'll be able to get a round of beers for the entire table and check out the latest game or people-watch along Garland. (JE)
Turning in off Illinois Avenue, the Market Street address doesn't make much sense. Whatever. Bluz is a rock 'n' roll bar, but classy enough to dress up for if you're in the mood. Stylish, dark interior with a small stage and adequate dance floor; live blues and classic rock bands Thursdays through Saturdays. Four coin-op pool tables. Uncle D's Comedy Underground upstairs. (MLO)
STYLE: Blues/comedy nightclub QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full menu; seafood specialties UPSIDE: Sequined pink and white blouses on servers
HOURS: Wed-Sun 4 pm-late
THE SCREAMING YAK
118 W. Francis Ave.
The yak is screaming because he ate the five-star chicken wings. There's nothing hotter in Spokane, period. The Yak's not a huge place, but plenty of glass around the seating area gives it an open feeling; well lit. Younger crowd = ID check. One slightly abused pool table. (MLO)
STYLE: Sports QUAFF: Beer, cocktails FOOD: Breakfast, lunch and dinner UPSIDE: Clusters of braziers hanging from yak horns. Ask for the story.
HOURS: Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am; Sat-Sun 8 am-2 am
THE SWINGING DOORS
1018 W. Francis Ave.
This is a comfortable, unpretentious neighborhood bar and grill with plenty of seating and at least three million TV screens to provide cover for awkward lulls in conversation. Paradoxically, the place is always full but you can always find a seat. Huge burgers, two seasoned coin-op pool tables and an active shuffle board. (MLO)
STYLE: Neighborhood QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full menu UPSIDE: A covered smoking patio where you can actually take your drink
HOURS: Open weekdays at 7 am; 24 hours on weekends
6314 N. Ash St. & middot; 324-6453
Beer and whisky guys must be secure in their masculinity if they're going to order a foofoo cocktail at a trendy lounge like Tonicx -- but there are rewards for acts of social bravery. The Key Lime martini is a notable example, here. Frothy, creamy and topped with cinnamon, it might make you think manhood is overrated. (If not, they're well stocked with microbrews.) Tonicx at the Five Mile Plaza is a small, clean place with an upscale feel. (MLO)
STYLE: Nuevo QUAFF: Beer, spirits FOOD: Pita Pit Mediterranean and more UPSIDE: Heated patio, unique concoctions
HOURS: 11 am-midnight; later on weekends
WORKING CLASS HEROES
1914 N. Monroe St.
Located about a block north of Indiana this tiny bar is kind of lost in a sea of antique shops and pet spas. The Cheers atmosphere of this place makes you feel right at home when you walk in. No one's a hater at Working Class Heroes. (TM)
STYLE: Neighborhood dive QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Typical bar food UPSIDE: Karaoke by Michael on Wednesdays is top-notch. The guy's got more than 20,000 songs and after you sing he gives you tips on how to do better. If you're really good he'll break out the harmonica and play along.
It's in downtown Cheney (one street) meaning The Basement, like other Cheney bars, serves as a can't-miss destination on any given drinking tour. Thursday is the night of debauchery in Cheney and the Basement is the place to forget things. A large dance floor and plenty of bodies make The Basement Cheney's go-to club. (BM)
STYLE: Nightclub QUAFF: Extensive tap selection FOOD: Trail mix or rendezvous at Zips UPSIDE: Large, everyone goes there, Nintendo Wii, recent college-grad owners, great marketing and promotions
HOURS: Tue-Sun 8 pm-late
414 First St. * 235-6294
Eagles Pub is Cheney's most consistent bar, from the prices to the atmosphere to the patrons. It's also Cheney's biggest bar and typically the least crowded, now with The Basement and Bill's in town. The only bar to really embrace the university, Eagles is where alums go to relive the glory days. (BM)
STYLE: Sports bar QUAFF: Beer and more beer FOOD: Great fries, pizza, and the biggest calzone around UPSIDE: Ping pong, trivia on Tue and Fri, great service, the calzone!
HOURS: Mon-Sat 11 am-late
407 First St. * 235-7667
Goofy's looks like my dorm room freshman year of college. Posters of half naked girls, Easy Rider and marijuana leaves provide the d & eacute;cor. Also like my dorm, it is fairly small and compact. However, Goofy's offers the best billiards in Cheney and 50-cent wine for the ladies. Occasional one dollar High Life or Lucky and a piss-smelling bathroom makes Goofy's a classic college bar. (BM)
STYLE: College QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sandwiches and great nachos UPSIDE: Pit-stop for a quick shot or chug
HOURS: Daily 3 pm-late
WILD BILL'S LONGBAR
405 First St. * 235-4758
Wild Bill's is new to the nightlife scene of Cheney, fresh and clean, the exoticness still makes it a draw. That, and who doesn't want to drink in a bar completely lined with stuffed animal heads? As it's the new spot in town, expect close proximity drunkenness and frat guys trying to stake their claim. (BM)
STYLE: Saloon QUAFF: Beer and wine FOOD: Some fried bar food UPSIDE: Big booths, tall bar tables, and comfy couches, a shuttle service, deck being constructed for summertime
HOURS: Daily 11 am-late
809 First St. * 235-4420
The Willow has one thing going for it:karaoke on Wednesday nights. If you can handle this scene, followed by Thursday nights at the other bars, you more than earn your diploma in college life. The Willow is small and dingy, has very little seating, and never was built for a crowd but that doesn't stop the full-on sing-a-longs and wannabe American Idol rejects. (BM)
STYLE: Lounge/dive QUAFF: Beer FOOD: Connected to a diner, so plenty UPSIDE: Everyone else sucks at singing too.
HOURS: Daily 5 pm-late
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1710 Riverstone Dr.
Are they serious about alcohol? The gleaming wood bar takes up half the indoor space. The drink menu is a half-inch thick. Featured is Bardenay's own distilled rum, vodka and gin and specialty beverages like the tropical Iguanabana or Heavy Smokey Martini with Lagavulin (yowza!). Good eats that emphasize bistro-like variety, comfort selections and unusual flavor pairings plus a casual-yet-trendy environs make this a favorite. (CS)
STYLE: Bistro-ish QUAFF: Anything under the sun FOOD: Full menu UPSIDE: Huge patio for summer
HOURS: Daily to late night, later on weekends
BARREL ROOM No. 6
503 E. Sherman Ave.
Upon viewing the bread and cheese-dominated menu I declared: "Well LA-dee-DA! Can I get an order of the working man's onion rings up in here? Put some expensive cheese on it if it'll make you more comfortable!" I didn't really say that because my class envy embarrasses me, and in my heart I wish I knew more about cheese. (BK)
STYLE: Bistro QUAFF: Wine and a few beers FOOD: Bread, cheese, chocolate for dessert UPSIDE: Very clean, plentiful couches
HOURS: Mon-Thu 2-10 pm, Fri-Sat 2 pm-midnight
317 E. Sherman Ave.
Catering to the downtown business and social jetset, Beacon has an inviting atmosphere, tasty pub grub and is a primo spot for scanning busy Sherman Avenue. When you tire of looking at the beautiful people, flat screen TVs flank the interior of the island bar, which also features an underlit tower of alcohol bottles and taps like Mac n' Jack and Blue Moon. (CS)
STYLE: Pub QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Full menu UPSIDE: Festive environs, awesome fish 'n chips, reasonable prices
HOURS: Daily, before lunch to late night
751 N. 4th St.
North Idaho's version of television's Cheers. On the patio in spring and summer or indoors watching the big-screen, meet friends and make memories over a glass of Guinness and wings or any of 40 plus microbrews on tap and the best pizza in town. The atmosphere is upbeat and kicked back except when Capone's hosts blues bands like Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips. Then they're smokin'. (CS)
STYLE: Hangout QUAFF: Beer, wine, spirits FOOD: Sandwiches, pizza, appetizers UPSIDE: Capone's Post Falls IS rebuilding
HOURS: Daily, before lunch to late night, later on weekends
COEUR D'ALENE BREWING CO.
209 E. Lakeside Ave.
A staple of the Inland Northwest's microbrewery scene, Coeur d'Alene Brewing Co. sells hooch at Spokane's Steam Plant Grill and at the brewpub in the Lake City, where it's a haven for downtown workers and regulars -- many of whom sign up for the famous "Mug Club." For $25 you get a free T-shirt, a hook to hang your mug