Northward Expansion

Six years after a fire destroyed one of its bars, the Capone’s Pub and Grill chain continues to grow

The Capones have some pretty big balls and they’re putting them right out front.

“So people don’t crash into the ATM [in the entryway],” explains Tom Capone. We’re looking at the artist’s rendering for the third Capone’s Pub & Grill, this one located in Hayden, that features two car-stopping concrete baseballs, an homage to the favorite sport of the mini-chain’s owners.

“This is actually our fourth store,” jokes Capone, who owns the restaurants with his wife, Teresa, still incredulous that their second location — Post Falls, built in 2006 — was burned down. Former Paddy’s Bar owner Richard Hanlon was convicted of arson after an investigation into the blaze and served almost two years for the crime.

Like the older locations — Coeur d’Alene is the flagship, established in 1991 — the Hayden branch of Capone’s, set to open by the end of the year, features a retro sports theme. Outside is red brick, green and white trim, arch-shaped windows and a patio. Inside, it’s what Tom describes as “early orange crate”: vintage signs, beer taps, sports memorabilia and their trademark tables with resin-cast ticket stubs, photos, baseball cards and ephemera.

Formerly Corey’s Furniture, the 6,700-square-foot building will require $1 million in remodeling, which is still cheaper than new construction, says Tom. The kitchen will be large enough to handle the current 87-item menu, plus more entrees, like pasta. More wines will likely be added, too.

When its local bakery suppliers kept going under, Capone’s decided to make its own bread — operations that will be expanded in the new location. The bakery will service Capone’s Pubs, plus vendors, including Silverwood Theme Park, Copa and Caddyshack, all of which buy Capone’s baked-fresh-daily bread.

That bread was one reason Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited in summer of 2010. Business boomed, although Capone’s was already a local fave, consistently garnering awards, including from Inlander readers.

“We have great employees,” says Teresa, who oversees paperwork, customer service and management of 60 employees. Many, she notes, have been with Capone’s for more than 10 years. Happy employees relates to good service, she adds.

The staff list includes the Capones’ adult children, son Pat and their daughter Kate. He delivers bread and handles new accounts while she’s pursuing a restaurant management degree. They were just 6 and 3 years old, respectively, when the Capones relocated from southern California 20 years ago.

As their business presence grows in the Inland Northwest, the couple says that “staying married and raising a family,” is the accomplishment they’re most proud of. 

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About The Author

Carrie Scozzaro

Carrie Scozzaro spent nearly half of her career serving public education in various roles, and the other half in creative work: visual art, marketing communications, graphic design, and freelance writing, including for publications throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.