Stirring Up Success

How a bartender worked her way up to own a Spokane restaurant

Up Success
Young Kwak
Melting Pot's fondue.

When the Melting Pot opened a Spokane location in 2008, Kim Silva was a bartender at the new restaurant. Now, she and her husband actually own the place.

After time behind the bar at the downtown Spokane eatery, which focuses on fondue, Silva was later promoted to assistant manager and then general manager in 2013 under the previous owner, William Miller. The Melting Pot's new Path to Grow program offers managers, and others experienced in restaurant operations and management, the opportunity to sign a franchise agreement and receive a loan for up to 95 percent of the funds needed to become owners of select locations.

After Silva brought up the Path to Grow program to Miller, both were excited about the idea of passing along ownership, and decided to bring on Silva's husband Hollis to the Melting Pot team in October 2015 to help with the transition.

Silva is excited that the Path to Grow program has allowed her and her husband to become owners, and wants to begin hosting a different themed night monthly. This month, she's planning a wine and fondue ladies' night ($19.95) with a cheese board and seven tastes of wine. In December, she plans to host an ugly Christmas sweater palette painting and cheese and chocolate night.

Though Silva wants to bring these new events to the Melting Pot, she promises that the restaurant will still have the same feel it's known for.

"We're trying to run the business as normal, and we don't want our regulars to feel like everything is changing too much," she says. "We'll still have the same romantic atmosphere and be the place to go for fun nights out."

Through her interactions with guests, Silva has learned that the Melting Pot isn't as well known in Spokane as she would like, and she wants to focus on marketing to change that.

"There are so many guests that didn't even know we were in Spokane until they actually came in," says Silva. "So we want to spread the word and let people know we're here." ♦

The Melting Pot Spokane • 707 W. Main Ave. (in the skywalk) • Open Mon-Thu, 4-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 4-10 pm; Sun, 4-9 pm • • 926-8000

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