Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Downtown restaurant Ciao Mambo closes its doors, may reopen as MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

After more than two years serving up drinks and Italian-style food in downtown Spokane, Ciao Mambo is closing. 

“We would like to thank the Spokane community for its support,” a printed sign on the restaurant’s door says today. “Unfortunately, Mambos will be closing its doors for business as of Tuesday, July 30, 2013.”

There’s no message yet on the restaurant’s Facebook page or Twitter feed. (UPDATE: See the bottom of this post.)

The restaurant opened in 2011 in a space previously used by the doomed Washington Mutual Bank, at 818 W. Riverside. It’s been involved with community events like Pig Out in the Park and this year’s inaugural Spokane Restaurant Week.

The Montana-based mini-chain, owned by Glacier Restaurant Group, still has locations in Missoula, Billings and Whitefish. (The locations page of the company’s website used to list Spokane, but no longer does.)

Employees were notified over the weekend. It came as a surprise, since the restaurant was still actively hiring within the past month.

UPDATE: A new response on the Spokane Ciao Mambo Facebook page indicates the company is planning to reopen this fall as another MacKenzie River, which is also owned by Glacier Restaurant Group. 

UPDATE | July 30: The location will reopen as MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub later this year. “Our experience has led us to believe that a MacKenzie River would better serve the Spokane area,” says Erica Coffman, director of marketing for GRG. 

That will provide a better “quick-service” lunch options for the downtown work crowd, she says, and will also have a full bar. Staffing decisions haven’t been made yet. The goal is an opening around mid-October, and renovations will begin right away.

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About The Author

Lisa Waananen

Lisa Waananen is the web editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She specializes in data and graphics, and her recent cover stories have been about family history, the legacy of Spokane photographer Charles A. Libby and genetically modified food...