With a focus on sourcing locally and sustainability for the future, an unexpected opportunity led the five owners of Cascadia Public House to their vision of a second location, right next to Gonzaga.
It has been a month since the locally owned Cascadia Public House officially opened its doors on 1414 N. Hamilton St., where Geno's used to be. The owners of Cascadia always envisioned opening a second spot, even before the pandemic, but it was not anticipated so soon.
"For a while, we thought we were going to completely lose everything, but luckily, we had quite the community following over at our other location on Five Mile,” said Robert Hatch, one of the owners of the public house.
The second location's opportunity came up after Hatch, along with owners Josh Lorenzen, Jordan Smith and John and Justin Oliveri, realized that their first location on 6314 N. Ash St. was going to make it. The restaurant continues to thrive in significant part due to the flowing to-go orders, gift cards and local support. Hatch said that this opportunity would have been too hard to skip out on.
All five of the owners grew up here in Spokane, and their restaurant is as local as it gets. The whole idea of Cascadia encompasses the Northwest. All of the beer and food is regionally sourced from the Northwest and, in the summer, they try to use local farmers as often as possible.
Aside from their tasty cheesesteak and crispy chicken sandwich, they have a list of well-crafted beers that will surely tickle your taste buds. Drinks to note are the refreshing Belgian White spiced with coriander and orange peel, the Lush IPA, a tropical treat for those sunny days to come and the Dark Persuasion, a German chocolate cake ale with a hint of coconut.
The goal of this specific restaurant is to keep it consistent with the first. The drink and food menu items will be the same and they will continue to include their gluten-free and plant-based items.
"A couple of our owners are vegan, and they have been for a long time. They are the ones in charge of the kitchen, so they definitely hit a little niche in Spokane. The two of them actually own RÜt together up on the South Hill," Hatch said.
Lorenzen is their head chef, and he is very skilled culinarily. “He was cooking down in nice kitchens in Portland for eight years and so his experience is super high,” said Justin Oliveri, one of the co-owners of Rüt, adding that his favorite item on the menu is the curry mac.
The diversity of the vegan menu will allow everyone to come and enjoy a meal without having to go to a strictly vegan place. Oliveri said that it really makes a difference to have people on the ownership team who actually eat plant-based because they believe in the concept and live by it.
With only 25% capacity, the Cascadia team is excited to be open and to welcome new faces into their community.
“It’s been really cool to have a little bit more of a different demographic than we are used to and to be in a busier area. I am excited to meet new people and create new cliental,” said AJ Hansen, the bar manager at Cascadia.
The culture is what the customers come for, said Hansen. The whole team cares about fostering a community and making sure people enjoy themselves.
“Hate has no business here, everybody is equal,” Oliveri said.
As the Cascadia team continues to welcome locals and visitors alike, they are excited to be a part of a community close to home.
"I have been a super big Gonzaga fan for a long time, and that is my home team so being close to them is really cool," Hatch said.