Steel Barrel Taproom launches new meatball menu, plus creative, outdoor winter dining and more COVID casualties

Steel Barrel Taproom launches new meatball menu, plus creative, outdoor winter dining and more COVID casualties
Courtesy Davenport Hotels
The Davenport Grand isn't the only spot with dome dining this winter.

After a monthslong closure due to pandemic restrictions, the Steel Barrel recently reopened with a new food menu featuring the flavors of global street food in meatball form, or "streetballs," if you will. A reader board inside the downtown bar teasingly asks patrons to please, keep the ball jokes to a minimum.

With chef Chad White moving his Zona Blanca out of the connected kitchen space, Steel Barrel was able to take over and become a restaurant of its own. Now, the bar well known for carrying the best up-and-coming breweries' creations on tap can also sell that beer to go, in addition to serving up tasty bar food for hungry downtown drinkers.

click to enlarge Steel Barrel Taproom launches new meatball menu, plus creative, outdoor winter dining and more COVID casualties
Courtesy Steel Barrel
Meatballs are now on the menu at Steel Barrel.

White helped design the new menu of meatballs, which can be ordered a la carte in a lettuce wrap or as a slider, or three in a bun to make for a hefty meatball sandwich. You'll find choices like a Mexican burrito-inspired vegetarian "beanball," filled with cheese and rice and served with coriander mayo; the Doner Baahb — a doner kebab shoutout made from lamb with flavors like sesame, dill and garlic mayo; the Nashball hot chicken meatball, which is served with pickles, garlic mayo and hot sauce, and more.

Each option is generously seasoned with the distinct herbs and spices from the cuisine it represents, and if the sizable meatballs aren't enough to fill you up, you can make it a combo with sides including bar nuts (let the giggling commence), chips and more.

Keep an eye out for information about growler fills, new cocktails and beer releases at (SW)

Spokane is losing two locally owned restaurants this month, adding to the list of 2020's permanent closures: Geno's pub in the Logan neighborhood and Garageland downtown.

Geno's owners directly cited challenges related to doing business during a global pandemic among the reasons behind their decision. Garageland's announcement was more vague about the contributing factors, but COVID-19 restrictions have deeply impacted bars and other nightlife venues since spring.

Geno's was operated since 2013 by the same duo behind several other regional restaurants, including the Elk Public House and Moon Time. Its last day of business was Friday, Oct. 23.

Meanwhile, Garageland bar and restaurant downtown at 230 W. Riverside Ave. is planning for its last day of business to be Friday, Oct. 30.

"Well, the day we've been hoping wouldn't happen has finally shown up," Garageland's owners shared in a Facebook post. "Thank you so much for the last five years. We'll miss you dearly, Spokane." (CS)

Offering outdoor dining when snow's on the ground may not seem like a reasonable option for many local restaurants, but there's actually one way to do it without freezing.

Luna on Spokane's South Hill recently unveiled a pair of heated, reservation-only "snow globes" on its bar terrace patio, set to open on Nov. 5 (reservations are now available). The option to dine in the transparent, domed structures is designed to be an exclusive, elevated experience. Luna's full, seasonal menu is available, along with several exclusive cocktails. Cozy, wintertime decor and seating inside each was created by local interior designer Erin Haskell.

Guests, up to six per structure, who make a reservation for the snow globes must be over 21, and checks can't be split for one of two reservation options: a $300 tab minimum on Sunday through Wednesday, and a $400 minimum Thursday to Saturday. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is taken upon reservation, which goes toward guests' check total.

To ensure safety and enjoyment while dining in the globes, only one reservation per globe is allowed per night, beginning between 5-6:30 pm and lasting as long as guests choose, or until closing at 9 pm. For complete details and reservation info, head to

A similar experience introduced last year has returned to the Davenport Grand Hotel, set to run through March 2021. Six domed "igloos" are open for reservations starting Oct. 29. With space for up to six guests per structure, reservation packages ($250 or $300; food is included with each) offer an hour and a half to enjoy the experience, with a $100 credit to spend at the bar. All ages are welcome inside, and while each structure is heated, it's still recommended to bundle up. Details and reservations at (CS) ♦

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About The Authors

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's Associate Editor, overseeing and contributing to the paper's arts and culture sections, including food and events. Chey (pronounced "Shay") is a lifelong resident of the Spokane area and a graduate of Washington State University. She's been on staff at the Inlander since 2012...

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...