The Happiest Hour - Great Eats and Cocktails Downtown
by Erin Peterson
Featured in Spokane Cd'A Living Magazine
When it comes to the toil of the workday, few traditions are more beloved by the tired masses than happy hour. This tradition actually began in one of the driest periods in history - Prohibition. The failed social experiment led to one of the pillars of American food culture. Instead of abiding by the new rules set across the nation regulating the consumption of alcohol, people across the nation just became more inventive (like a forbidden teenager). This led to gathering in speakeasies and an ever-growing number of tantalizing drink specialties to lure people out of their homes and into wetting their whistle illegally. Luckily you don’t have to know the secret password to get into any of these watering holes hiding in Spokane.
Today we are experiencing a revolution of a different sort - the renaissance of craft cocktails (where every element is handmade especially to suit the drink). This has completely changed what consumers expect, and we sought out some fun places near the heart of downtown that you can unwind as well as appreciate the work of the in-house mixologists. From small-batch bitters to specialty glassware, you’ll find something truly memorable in this list. We did a little research of our own (the fun kind), and discovered some fantastic spots for you to get comfortable and unwind from the office.
One of the funkiest joints to grab a drink is Boombox Pizza. Remember the casual pizza palaces of your childhood? That's the vibe you can expect here. From cocktails in Capri Sun bags to the skeeball in the corner, you'll be able to connect to those carefree days before the adult responsibilities piled on to your ability to chill. The Bloody Marys here are over-the-top, and they have a slice of pizza with a beef stick straw.
The newest hangout in town is Lucky You Lounge, and they are crushing the happy hour game. The 70’s decor and swanky feel make this oh-so celebratory no matter what night of the week you stop by. Catering to vegan, gluten free and vegetarian customers, they really understand the needs of modern culinary clientele. They have an eclectic menu with some killer appetizer offerings during happy hour, including shitake dumplings with a black vinegar broth, and cauliflower fritters with pear-raisin chutney and herbed yogurt. Get both. When it comes to cocktails, they show off the best of the era with the Aquafaba Whiskey Sour - it’s the perfect nightcap.
The Safari Room at the Davenport Tower is filled to the brim with fun, and it comes with the bonus of free valet parking with your happy hour purchase. A huge perk in the busy downtown area! All of their flatbreads and alcoholic drinks are half-off from 4pm to 6pm, and you have so many options. Tomato basil, Thai chicken, mushroom, fontina and truffle oil, and pepperoni, sausage and red sauce. Still hungry? They have a large dinner menu to keep your kitchen clean. The seating is extra comfortable, too, after a long day at the office.
When it comes to a really fantastic cocktail-forward establishment, you have to go to Volstead Act. If you’re going straight for the good stuff, this is your place. Not only is it named ironically after 18th Amendment preventing the consumption of alcohol, but it’s also just got a really cool vibe. Their extensive and highly creative cocktail list will please even the pickiest of palates, but I settled on the “Regal Bees Knees” which is a menu staple. Gin, fresh lemon juice, honey and grapefruit peel make this simple shakeup summer worthy. Hungry? You can get delicious food next door.