Best Of

Best Place to Dance & Best Karaoke

nYne Bar & Bistro

click to enlarge Best Place to Dance & Best Karaoke
Erick Doxey photo
We love singing our hearts out at nYne!

When Kitty Kane opened nYne Bar & Bistro in 2010, she wanted to offer Spokane "a fun, safe place for people to come and just be themselves." Since then, she says, "I've had many people say that when they get here they feel like they're home."

The queer-focused night club welcomes patrons of all orientations to its spacious venue. But — cognizant of ongoing threats to queer spaces — nYne takes the safety of their "home" seriously.

"We have security every night. We didn't used to," Kane says. Along with preventing violence at the door, security also intervenes when it comes to treating people with disrespect or sexual advances they don't want, says Kane, who wants "to make sure everyone feels safe."

During the sad, danceless era when COVID restrictions paused dance nights, nYne invested in drag performances. Now that patrons can shimmy to beats in person again, drag shows remain woven into nYne's weekend dance schedule.

On Fridays and Saturdays, a free drag show starts at 8:30 pm, followed by a live DJ set and dancing at 9:30. If you arrive to dance after 9:30, be ready to pay a cover — without grumbling.

"My big thing is no one's more important than anyone else," says Kane.

Back-to-back programming is a secret weapon of nYne's. Their best-attended karaoke session happens Thursdays at 9 pm, directly following their 7 pm trivia. Both events are hosted by Ryan Jensen, who's been running karaoke the entire time nYne's been open — 13 years now — and has established his own following.

"He's very approachable," says Kane. "He knows how to adjust sound really well. So if you have a weird song..." Ryan can help.

"We also have Tuesday karaoke hosted by Rita Fine," Kane says. That karaoke, too, immediately follows earlier programming: a popular queer comedy open mic (at 8 pm) organized by stand-up comic Camrynne Sullivan.

In addition to all that recurring entertainment, nYne also hosts special fundraisers and elaborate Pride happenings, like a guest DJ from Seattle and an all-ages brunch before the big parade.

"Seems like when we do things that are outside the norm, it just brings people together," says Kane. "Sometimes it feels more like a community space than a bar."

2nd PLACE: Monterey Cafe
3rd PLACE: The Star Bar
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Iron Horse Bar & Grill, Coeur d'Alene

2nd PLACE: Globe Bar & Kitchen
3rd PLACE (tie): Highball at Northern Quest, Lucky You Lounge
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Nashville North, Stateline

It Happened Here: Expo '74 Fifty Years Later @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 26
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