When walking into Well-Read Moose's nondescript stone building, customers probably wouldn't expect a seven-foot Cat in the Hat to greet them with a hug. During a story time event in June 2014, though, that's exactly what happened. Interactive events like those are just one way of the many ways books come alive here. Even without large behatted felines, the store engages readers with author-hosted book readings and signings, as well as evening wine tastings. Well-Read Moose also sells coffee and pastries from local bakeries to keep guests fueled as they listen to their favorite writer or peruse the extensive collection, which ranges from children's classics to the latest adult thrillers.
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.
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.
Barbecued meats and frosty brews are the main draw at Hot Rods Bar and BBQ, but you could probably guess that from looking at the name. What you wouldn't know without stopping in for dinner, however, is how much fun can be had when the plates are cleared away. A late-night destination no matter the night, Hot Rods pairs saucy ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches with entertainment options that range from live karaoke to beer-pong tournaments.
Rated the best Indian restaurant in the area by Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, Top of India lives up to its name with tandoori staples culled from different regions of India. These include chicken tikka and lamb shish kebab. Beyond those meaty mainstays, the eatery cooks up more than 15 vegetarian options. Dishes like mushroom korma and chicken chili lend credence to the restaurant’s award-winning stature, and the full bar offers house specialities such as a hard mango lassi with a flare of coconut, a Royale Salute martini, and a margarita based on the classic Indian nimbu pani.
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.