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Office Hours

Mon., July 26, 2010, 4:44 p.m.

A new downtown restaurant, Ciao Mambo, coming to the Lincoln Plaza building

A Montana company plans to open a Ciao Mambo restaurant in the ground level corner of the Lincoln Plaza building, a Spokane development firm announced Monday.

The new restaurant, part of the Glacier Restaurant Group based in Whitefish, Mont., will open in January. It’s expected to hire 75 workers, a company spokesman said.

Goodale & Barbieri Co. President Tom Barbieri said his group spent roughly two years finding the right lessee to take over the 4,000-square-foot corner spot of the nine-level building, at the corner of Riverside and Lincoln in downtown Spokane.

The Italian restaurant and lounge will use about 1,200-square feet in the outdoor plaza, Barbieri added.

Barbieri said the challenge was locating a firm with the needed management experience and financial stability to run a restaurant in that building.

“We either had people with enough capitalization but no experience running restaurants. Or people with experience who weren’t capitalized,” he said. 

Cory Barbieri handled the transaction.

Ciao Mambo has several restaurants in Montana and one, according to its website, in Hayden.

The founder of Glacier Restaurant Group, William Foley II, is no stranger to the Inland Northwest. Earlier this year Foley's company, Fidelity National Timber Resources Inc., acquired some of the interest in a promissory note covering Black Rock North, the exclusive private golf club overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. 

Foley also has worked several other major Northwest deals, including gaining controlling interest of Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Barbieri said the new restaurant will offer a lunch and dinner menu. Parking will be available at the building’s 200-space underground garage.“This brings our building to 97 percent occupancy,” said Barbieri.

Barbieri is owner and manager of building owner Lincoln Plaza LLC. The building was purchased from a subsidiary of Red Lion Hotels in 2007.

The downstairs corner, once filled by Lincoln Savings and Loan Bank, was later taken over by Washington Mutual Bank. Washington Mutual moved out several years ago and before the current owner group bought the building, said Barbieri.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.