Renovations are moving along at the new downtown Spokane location of Seattle-based Tavolàta restaurant on the first floor of the Old City Hall building (221 N. Wall), most recently home of an Olive Garden restaurant.
Chef Ethan Stowell, CEO and founder of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, which operates 14 eateries in the Seattle area, says his team is currently planning for Tavolàta Spokane to open sometime in May.
"We're almost done with construction. It's looking great," Stowell says. "We want to get ourselves in a place where we know nothing is going to get rolled back and we can open and know we'll be open for an extended period without rolling back."
In addition to the 5,000-square-foot Tavolàta, Stowell and partners are simultaneously working on a smaller eatery inside the Wonder Building (835 N. Post) as part of the historic space's first-floor food hall. Called Bosco, it's located in the northwest corner, adjacent to High Tide Lobster Bar.
"We're excited to have that open space, and the Saturday farmers market there," Stowell says. "We'll have an outdoor area for summertime, and we're looking forward to doing events out there of all kinds."
Bosco should open around the same time as Tavolàta, in May, he adds.
Stowell says his expansion to Spokane's thriving market was planned well before the global pandemic upended the restaurant industry.
"I would say, more than anything, the pandemic just slowed things down rather than made [expanding] an ideal time," he says. "For us, we'd already decided to do this. The pandemic has been hard on restaurants, but we take it as it is and try to make the best decisions as time goes by."
Tavolàta's menu here will be similar to its Seattle counterparts, but as with all locations Stowell says chefs have some creative flexibility.
"We'll have core menu items, like our rigatoni pasta, which we sell more than any other menu item in our entire company," he says. "At this one, we have a larger bar, and we want to have a strong and powerful happy hour offering that people can enjoy. Tavolàta is always a lively place where you can have a meal that's not overly serious, but delicious."♦