The Sawmill Grille is a testimony both to the team who transformed the former Post Falls mill site's business office into the restaurant and the vital role lumber played in Post Falls' history.
The two-story wood-and-glass structure sat vacant, first on the former Louisiana-Pacific mill site, which closed in 1995, and then across the street, at 302 N. Spokane St., where it was relocated nearly six years ago. It looked more like an empty apartment building than a restaurant.
"As far as revamping, we basically gutted the interior walls and replaced with two huge steel beams in order to open the main-floor dining," says Rob Clark, who opened the place in August with wife Emily Clark.
The couple, who also run Bell Tower Funeral Home in Post Falls, added live-edge tables, many of them supported on industrial-inspired welded bases, and carried the wood and industrial theme throughout the place.
Look for daily and weekly specials and a menu grounded in comfort foods. Start with sweet potato tater tot poutine ($10) or house chili ($7). Your main meal could be halibut fish tacos ($14), a Cubano sandwich ($13), mac and cheese with pork belly ($14) or a burger with your choice of protein and topping ($14-$16), like beef and cheddar or lamb and Boursin cheese.
In addition to a full bar and $10 late-night menu — try nachos, wings, fried Brussels sprouts or grilled cheese — they also do a Saturday brunch with mimosas, and an under-$10 lunch special featuring one of four daily soups. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)
VEGAN CHEESE AND MORE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Don't wait too long to place an order for some of the many house-made holiday specialties offered this year by Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe on the lower South Hill. Orders from Allie's Thanksgiving takeout menu (see it at alliesvegan.com and call 321-7090 to order) are open until pickup day, Wednesday, Nov. 27. Included on the special menu is a cheese plate ($32) featuring three vegan cashew cheeses made by chef Chadwick Aufderhar: rosemary, porcini and toasted coriander; spiced red wine reduction swirl; and maple, candied walnut and sharp cheddar.
Allie's is also taking preorders for its vegan stuffed roast ($40) with roasted veggies, and take-and-bake sourdough cinnamon rolls with cashew cream cheese frosting ($18/half dozen; $30/dozen). (CHEY SCOTT)
MIFLAVOUR BAKERY OPENS FRENCH CAFE
After years of dreaming, Spokane bakery owners Ella and Max Piskun are finally debuting their take on a modern French cafe inside their East Spokane bakery, miFlavour. The cafe's first day is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22, from 7 am-9 pm — or until they sell out — at 3403 E. Sprague. To celebrate the cafe's grand opening, which the Piskuns had originally planned for this summer, all items sold there and in the bakery are 20 percent off.
The couple launched their French-style bakery in 2016, and moved into a permanent location early this year after renting commercial kitchen space during the first two years of business. The new miFlavour cafe features a full-service espresso bar, and a variety of sweet and savory French pastries and croissants. Follow the bakery on social media for the latest updates: facebook.com/miFlavour; Instagram: @miflavour. (CHEY SCOTT)
COEUR D'ALENE'S PARAGON NOW BREWING
Five years in, Coeur d'Alene's Paragon Brewing is finally brewing on site. Although the brewery had been collaborating with Sandpoint-based MickDuff's to use its facilities, Paragon's own 10-barrel system is now fully operational and capable of making 20 kegs per batch, says co-owner Kerry Kieres. In addition to seven standard beers on tap, like the Beauty Bay Blonde and Maple Leaf Amber, additional releases are in the works. Look for the Switch Gulch Mocha Stout to release soon, and a limited-release American pale ale.
"We invited a number of our regulars that are veterans to help brew this beer, Warriors Ethos," Kieres says of the pale ale.
Proceeds from the sales of the Warriors Ethos ale are slated to benefit Newby-ginnings, a local veterans organization. Paragon, which made a name for itself with an eclectic British pub-themed menu, also has a new chef, Eric Guiberson. Look for a continuation of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees utilizing Paragon's signature beers, such as the beer mac and cheese ($13) and porter-braised Brussels sprouts ($8). (CARRIE SCOZZARO) ♦