Lil Sumthin’ Saloon shifts focus to serve Tex-Mex-inspired hot dogs and cocktails to-go

click to enlarge The Jolene cocktail with the Gramma hot dog. - LIL SUMTHIN' COCKTAIL MARKET
Lil Sumthin' Cocktail Market
The Jolene cocktail with the Gramma hot dog.
After being forced to remain closed for the past five months due to COVID-19 and the nature of its liquor license, downtown Spokane bar Lil Sumthin’ Saloon is back in the game.

The Tex-Mex themed bar reopened as Lil Sumthin’ Cocktail Market on Sept. 6 to offer craft drinks and hot dogs to-go, for pickup or delivery within the Spokane area. Delivery is free to customers in the downtown core, with a $5 flat fee for beyond.

Being closed for so long, says co-owner Kryston Skinner, “was a really big challenge. We had actually talked about the potential of closing for good.”


While Lil Sumthin’ is adding food to its offerings (previously it had a handful of snacks, but not a full menu), Skinner says the bar’s small size would only allow about five customers inside at once due to current social distancing guidelines. While those pandemic-related restrictions remain in place, the bar is temporarily transforming into a larger kitchen to cook up Southern-influenced, topped hot dogs and to mix premade cocktails, sold in single or double servings.

The bar menu features two craft cocktails for each spirit base — whiskey, gin, tequila, vodka, rum — along with two beer-based cocktails. Brunch service introduces a bloody mary, mimosa, michelada and a few other drinks. All cocktails range from $9-$10 per single serving, or $15-$18 per double, and are sold for carryout inside sealed pouches. Under the Washington Liquor & Cannabis Board’s current special rules allowing bars and restaurants to sell spirits and premixed drinks to-go, customers must purchase food along with any alcohol.

“We’re really excited about it, because it’s sticking to what we know, and that’s hot dogs and cocktails,” Skinner says of the bar’s new focus.

For Sunday brunch, Lil Sumthin’ is adding another new item to its lineup: Kolaches. The savory, stuffed pastries of European origin are popular in Texas, where Skinner and bar co-owner Austin Estrada are from.


The kolaches are only available on Sundays from noon until 3 pm, or until sold out, Skinner says. Choices include a kolache stuffed with a vegan hot dog, cashew cheese, bell peppers and potatoes, along with two non-vegan options ($8); one has a bacon-wrapped hot dog and other fillings, and the other is stuffed with eggs, cheese and potatoes. Each kolache comes with a choice of syrup or hot sauce on top. Cinnamon and sugar donuts ($7) made using a recipe from Skinner’s grandmother are also sold just for brunch.

During the rest of the week when Lil Sumthin’ Cocktail Market is open, the food menu focuses on a selection of 10 gourmet hot dogs served in oblong bread rolls called bolillo buns.
click to enlarge A selection of Lil Sumthin's gourmet hot dogs, served in Mexican-style bolillo buns. - LIL SUMTHIN' COCKTAIL MARKET
Lil Sumthin' Cocktail Market
A selection of Lil Sumthin's gourmet hot dogs, served in Mexican-style bolillo buns.
“Essentially they’re Mexican rolls, and we had them a lot in Texas,” Skinner says. “They’re kind of like French bread, and we’ll be making our own.”

The hot dog menu ranges from a plain dog ($1) in a bun with ketchup and mustard to the decadent “Gramma” hot dog ($9) — Skinner’s personal favorite — featuring a bacon-wrapped dog topped with raspberry jam and smoked Gouda cheese.

“I really like sweet and savory at the same time, but I think the one I’m most excited about is the Reggie because it’s vegan, and I really love cashew cheese,” she says. “It was inspired by one of our favorite restaurants in Fort Worth.”

Some of the creations are topped with crushed chicharrones, corn chips and tajin spice blend. Customers can also upgrade any hot dog with a bacon-wrapped or vegan sausage for $2 extra.


“They all have a Southern flair to them, compared to what you’d find in Seattle or any other more traditional hot dog restaurants or stands,” Skinner says.

Lil Sumthin’s new food and drink market is a joint venture between herself, Estrada and a local couple, Sailor and Robin Guevara, who are investing into the concept.

“We met Sailor at a pop-up last fall,” Skinner says. “She opened so many doors for us, and introduced us to [liquor] reps and gave us advice on how to open and best run our business. She has been an amazing resource and is a fantastic mixologist and mentor.”

Many of the bitters featured in Lil Sumthin’s cocktails are made by Sailor Guevara, she adds.

Orders for drinks, hot dogs and brunch can be called in or placed online at lilsumthincocktailmarket.com; walk-up orders are also accepted.

Lil Sumthin’ Cocktail Market • 301 W. Second Ave. • Open Tue-Fri 4-8 pm, Sat-Sun noon-7 pm • lilsumthincocktailmarket.com • 666-1571

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's food and listings editor. She compiles the weekly events calendar for the print and online editions of the Inlander, manages and edits the food section, and also writes about local arts and culture. Chey (pronounced Shay) is a lifelong Spokanite and a graduate of Washington State University...