Nearly every family member works at Gathered (830 N. Spokane St.), including the couple’s son, Jaemasyn, who, along with Kevin, trained at Oregon’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. When it came time to develop the menu for Gathered, everyone was involved in suggesting their favorite meals, Stacie says.
For example, Jaemasyn created the tin can nachos with layers of house-made chips and pico de gallo, seasoned beef, queso cheese sauce, jalapeño, olives, guacamole, and sour cream served piping hot in a large can ($13). Those and the fried cheese curds ($12) are two of the restaurant’s most popular menu items, Stacie says.
Gathered’s menu also features scratch-made comfort food like spinach and artichoke dip ($10), chili ($7), and half-pound burgers with various toppings like blue cheese and bacon ($15). Entrees include fish and chips ($15) and the 16-ounce ribeye ($30). Also look for salads, appetizers, decadent desserts like a flight of cupcakes ($10), and daily specials.
The Wards opened Gathered in July 2021, after a nearly six-month delay while remodeling the building, which also houses the couple’s two other food businesses: Stacie’s Cakes and Purple Onion Catering Company. Next, the couple hopes to expand Stacie’s Cakes into a coffee shop, and they have even been mulling over doing family-style dinners at Gathered. And when they’re not working? “We think of another business to start,” says Stacie with a laugh. Visit Gathered on Facebook.
Spokane Valley sprawls across roughly 38 square miles, with most dining options concentrated along Sprague Avenue rather than the parallel Trent Avenue, which recently saw the addition of Haymaker Tavern + Kitchen, taking over the former Cheap Shots space (6412 E. Trent Ave.).
Haymaker is the latest restaurant from Goodwin Group, which also includes Remedy Kitchen and Tavern, The Volstead Act, Press, Brick West Brewing Co. and Backyard Public House (Barnwood Social in East Spokane recently closed).
Befitting of its surroundings, Haymaker has an industrial vibe, with cinder block walls, corrugated metal and aged wood accents, vintage-style drop lighting, and a concrete floor. However, abundant windows ensure it’s brightly lit in the day, and a roll-up garage door offers easy access to the side patio.
The modest food menu offers appetizers, salads, handhelds, entrees and kids’ portions. Try the scratch-made soft pretzel ($11.50) or Caribbean salad with mixed greens, red onion, black beans, avocado and mandarin oranges ($7 half, $11.50 whole). The 1/3-pound buffalo blue burger is a filling choice ($16.50), or indulge in the smoked pork mac n’ cheese with a zippy green chile sauce ($16.50).
In addition to a cocktail menu, Haymaker serves its sister business Brick West Brewing Co.’s beer along with rotating craft selections. Visit haymakertavern.com.
Tell your friends to meet you in hell, and you’ll likely find out who has a sense of humor, then clarify that you mean the new Purgatory Whiskey Bar in downtown Spokane (524 W. Main Ave.).
If your social set are whiskey drinkers, even better. The restaurant has more than 600 bottles from all over the world on display in an eye-catching wall of shelves, each underlit with purple neon. Purgatory opened in late fall 2021 and is the second spirit-forward place for Colville native Kevin Cox (his other Purgatory Whiskey Bar is in California, which offers a whole new round of potential off-color jokes). In reality, the businesses are named for a region in Colorado that Cox frequents and is fond of.
Sit along the live edge bar, which runs the full depth of the restaurant, and have the Last Laugh: gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, honey and lemon ($10). The restaurant also has a wine and rotating craft beer list.
Chef Ted Genoway is the talent in the kitchen, which offers a litany of snacks, salads, entrees and dessert. Share the smoked salmon board ($15), or fill up on pork belly tacos ($14).
Look for standard specials like reduced-price pours on “Whiskey Wednesdays,” featured spirit flights and whiskey dinners. Visit thepurgatory.com.