Situated on a bustling corner, Splash beckons passersby inside to watch the game, hit the dance floor, or grab a bite to eat. A self-professed destination for both day and night, Splash's kitchen serves up a menu of bar-friendly appetizers and snacks, such as beer-battered onion rings with ranch for dipping and spinach-artichoke dip served with a toasted baguette. The day-to-day action usually centers around sporting events, which play throughout the bar on 10 high-definition TVs.
What was once the boiler room at the historical Montvale Hotel has turned into the Catacombs Pub, a European-style pub situated inside the building's cellar. The hotel, which is listed on the Spokane and National Registers of Historic Places, has served as everything from a hardware store to a bordello.
Today in this underground pub, a brick oven fires up made-from-scratch pizzas in the spot where coal was once shoved into the boiler. The original coal chute has been transformed into a cave-like seating area where servers deliver irish stew, bratwursts, European beers, and specialty cocktails. The pub's brick hearth and exposed stone walls, modeled after German and Viennese pubs, contribute to the its Old-World feel, along with 2,800-pound solid oak beams, which weigh as much as King Midas's cell phone.
Dozens of glasses dangle by their handles from the humongous mug rack over Jones Radiator's bar, hinting at the pub's commitment to good drinks, classic cocktails, and current trends. These robust cups receive pours of stouts, IPAs, and lagers from the 25 taps of craft beer below, whereas bartenders mix cocktails with sprits such as rum and habanero tequila. In the kitchen, cooks prepare starter plates of pulled pork tacos and serve them street-style on corn tortillas and speckled with cilantro and onions. An array of flat breads?including chicken pesto, rosemary and mushrooms, and sausage and peppers?arrive at tables with an air of aromatic smoothness while classic french dip and gyros sandwiches provide classic satisfaction. Edibles act as only one draw to the venue, however. The staff welcomes live bands of all genres, from jazz to rock to bluegrass, and schedules themed movie nights.
Founded by lifelong Spokanites, Poole's Public House fosters a sense of community for locals from across the cultural spectrum. Throughout the week, special events cast a mass appeal with unplugged jam sessions for musicians on Tuesdays and drink specials for golfers who've just finished their rounds. For everyone else, the bar features 18 brews on tap and more than 30 flavors of bottled beer as well as hand-picked wines and spirits.
Even with the pub's distinct Spokane flavors, the menu leap-frogs between America and the British Isles. Along with Angus beef steaks, fish tacos, and 100% Angus burgers, diners enjoy transatlantic favorites such as bangers and mash and Brit-style corned beef hash. And since co-owner Scott is a University of Montana Alum, the pub pays homage to the Big Sky State with lots of Grizzlies memorabilia on the walls and broadcasts of UM games on the HDTVs.
Founder Jennifer Miley designed The Calm as a wine bar that embodies its name—a place where women can unwind, socialize, and enjoy a glass of merlot. Women can stop by for a quick drink after work, or sign up for a membership and enjoy perks such as complimentary drinks, soothing massages, and community events featuring actresses, authors, and broadcasters.
If they can't make it to the game, sports fans find The Ref Sports Bar a good substitute for the live action. Flat screens flicker on all four sides of a jumbotron-style feature hanging above the bar. Friends gather around creatively named pizzas, such as the Classic Homerun Margherita and the The Man Cave, with buffalo sauce, crispy chicken, jalapeño bacon, and ranch dressing forming the image of the buttons on a remote control. They can also share a plate of chicken wings doused in various sauces, including six buffalo sauces in varying levels of heat. Ambitious eaters who complete the Unnecessary Roughness Challenge—devouring five total pounds of burger, toppings, and fries—get their meal for free plus a pallet in the corner to sleep off the food coma.