by Alyssa Saari
Do you really know Spokane? How many of you will venture off-campus and will have first-hand experience of the places about to be introduced in this article?
For those who have not gone off-campus or do so very seldomly, downtown Spokane is home to many small and locally owned boutiques, restaurants, pubs and theaters, as well as other and more commonly known chains.
The entertainment district of downtown, excluding the Spokane Convention center, is located off of Sprague Avenue. The most popular venues include Bing Crosby Theater, Fox Theater and the Knitting Factory Concert House.
Bing Crosby Theater hosts a hodge-podge of events including Broadway-like productions, comedy competitions, concerts, movie premieres and film festivals and much more. The Fox Theater is known primarily for local symphonies, such as the Spokane Symphony and local university symphonies, including Whitworth’s Christmas Festival. The Knitting Factory is primarily a concert venue ranging in artists such as Drowning Pool, Eric Hutchinson and Odesza. Tickets are fairly cheap, beginning anywhere from $10 to $13 per ticket, depending on the artist you wish to see.
It’s recommended that before any of the above mentioned events, one should fill one’s stomach. There are numerous downtown restaurants to choose from. Some smaller-scale and more intimate hotspots include Wild Sage American
Bistro, Nudo, Zola, Saranac, Boots and Method Organic Juice Cafe, just to name a few. Saranac, Boots and Method are popular vegetarian and vegan inspired restaurants with very creative and cozy environments. For any students who are planning to have their own apartment and need some feng shui ideas on how to match their mismatched furniture and spruce up the place, Boots is the perfect place to gain some inspiration. Some famous and upscale restaurants located downtown include The Old Spaghetti Factory, The Melting Pot, P.F. Changs and Shogun.
Of course, any restaurant will have its own supply of dessert selections, but some other local sweet spots are Bruttles Gourmet Candy, Spokane Cheesecakes, Sweet Frostings and quite a few other dessert/coffee shops. Bruttles Gourmet
Candy shop will have any sweet tooth wanting to fall head over heels and not leave the store without buying half of the store’s inventory.
For the individuals who would like to avoid the cliche “freshman 15”, there are small and privately owned dance studios, for example, Simply Dance Studio, home of the Saturday Night Salsa and yoga houses, such as Lila’s.
There are also many classy downtown hotels which house popular lounges and contain historic architecture, mini exhibits and themes. The Davenport Hotel is an upscale hotel with very intricate architectural work, including the Grand Pennington Hall of Doges.
Downtown is also filled with tons of undiscovered boutiques, gag stores and a market store. A great boutique for formal dresses is Finders Keepers II on Main Avenue, across from Saranac Public House. Looking for that perfect gift for your best goofy pal? Boo Radley’s is a novelty shop named after the character in “To Kill A Mockingbird” who collects random and bizarre things.
One important store that the Whitworth community should be aware of is Auntie’s bookstore, where you can buy new and used books and sell unneeded textbooks or novels from past English classes for a little extra pocket change or store credit.
Don’t just research and Google places and events, get out and explore your community! There are masses of minor scale places or famously unknown places the Internet might miss. You may be surprised at what you will find.