In recent years, Spokane has diversified its retail and hospitality industries. Downtown Spokane is filled with unique shops and restaurants such as Wooden City Spokane.
Wooden City Spokane was added to the city's diverse portfolio when its doors opened to the public on Aug. 13, 2020.
Although Wooden City has its roots in Tacoma, Washington, in 2018, co-owners Abe Fox, Jon Green and Eddie Gulberg opened the Wooden City Tacoma.
The trio planned on opening the Spokane location in the spring, but the date was pushed back due to the pandemic.
Becca Collard, the general manager of Wooden City Spokane, said the downtown scene feels alive as ever and she is thankful to be located in the heart of the action.
Near the restaurant are River Park Square, Riverfront Park and music venues.
Wooden City's menu features casual, fine dining. There are traditional items such as pizza or burgers, but there are also items such as wood-fired bone marrow or petrale sole.
"The menu is upscale American," Collard said, "... and when we do things that you are familiar with, we're doing it in a way that is elevated, consistent; amazing every time."
The pepperoni pizza, for instance, is not only topped with red sauce and mozzarella but hot peppers, honey and fresh oregano, too.
When asked what her favorite menu item was, Collard pointed to the Hungarian wax peppers.
"I will always have a soft spot for the Hungarian wax peppers," Collard said. "They are amazing and a stable Wooden City item."
The Blistered Hungarian Peppers contain sweet sausage, aged cheddar cheese and toasted ciabatta bread with a chive oil base underneath. If you are looking for a savory appetizer to share, this is the item to order.
Wooden City also offers a wide selection of beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails.
"For those who are drinking, our Old Fashioned is always a favorite... we make it in a large batch, put it in a keg and it comes out on draft," Collard said.
For those looking for an alternative or who are not old enough to drink, Collard points to the mocktails offered.
"We have the virgin version of some of our cocktails, like the Shrub & Soda and the Here Again," Collard said.
Additionally, Wooden City offers Pineapple Daiquiri with pineapple, lime and simple syrup and Lavender Lemonade with thyme syrup, lemon, demerara and lavender soda.
Every day from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wooden City Spokane has its happy hour.
"So for our happy hour, we have some of our items that are traditionally on our home menu," Collard said. "But then, we have some specialty things like the mushroom skewers, which are awesome. They are cooked in the woodfire oven."
Other specialty items include the seasonal toast, crispy polenta and cheesy bread. As for the drinks, there are specials on select drafts, wines and cocktails.
Since its opening this past summer, Wooden City has seen many customers come through the doors.
"[Wooden City Spokane] can book up completely some nights so it's definitely recommended to make a reservation," Collard said.
Reservations should be made a day in advance during the week and 1-3 days in advance for the weekend.
The restaurant is popular among GU students, too. Many GU students work at Wooden City Spokane and dine with their friends and family regularly.
"It's very hipster and kind of trendy feeling... It feels like a restaurant from a big city, not Spokane," said Lina Maurice, a senior at GU who has dined there.
The modern industrial architecture highlights warm low-lighting and slick furnishing. Greenery is dispersed on tabletops and hung on the wood sidings.
The restaurant is located at 821 W. Riverside Ave. in the heart of downtown. It is open weekdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Follow the restaurant on Instagram: @woodencityspokane or visit their website at woodencityspokane.com.