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Pop Art + Beer 

Filt bar is like an art gallery where you can drink with friends

click to enlarge FILT FACEBOOK
  • Filt Facebook

In black block lettering, the sign simply says "BEER."

"We figured that would get the point across," says Filt co-owner Byron Christiansen.

Inside the bar, which holds 30 people, they serve a rotating list of eclectic craft beer and cider on tap; no wine, liquor or food. They'll leave that to other establishments on the historic Garland District block.

The lit-up beer sign hanging perpendicular to the brick storefront's wall is obvious; above the front window, wooden lettering spells out the bar's name, along with two devious-looking cartoon heads. These cutouts give potential patrons a taste of co-owner's Barry Anderson's artwork, highlighted throughout most of the narrow space — including WWII model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, complete with a burning-up Nazi plane. Much of the splashy pop art pays homage to war cartoons, Felix the Cat, Megan Fox and the Seahawks.

"I've sold four paintings so far, and been commissioned for another," says Anderson, whose mixed-media work ranges from $20 to $250. "That's a lot, better than when I had art shows in Seattle. In my experience, people generally like to look and then not buy anything."

Open for two weeks, the duo is just settling into the completely remodeled digs. They both work day jobs while hoping this business venture works out.

Christiansen, 39, and Anderson, 40 — buddies since their days at Ferris High School — never saw themselves as barmen. Christiansen had never even poured a beer before. But in October, when Christiansen moved back to Spokane after living in Seattle for 15 years, the two hatched the idea to open a place where folks could fill their growlers (hand-stenciled glass ones can be purchased at the business) and also experience Anderson's artwork.

Sitting at the bar, made from an old garage door and thick, burnt white pine, customers can drink a pint from one of the 12 taps while watching classic cartoons and films on one of the two flat-screen TVs. ♦

Filt • 911 W. Garland • Open Wed-Sun, 3 pm-close • Facebook: Filt • 474-9200

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