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Baek Chun now in Spokane

Charlie Yamamoto, owner of Baek Chun Sushiyama, displays sushi at the restaurant in Airway Heights. (File / The Spokesman-Review)
Charlie Yamamoto, owner of Baek Chun Sushiyama, displays sushi at the restaurant in Airway Heights. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Popular Airway Heights sushi creations now available at former Arctic Circle site

Now Baek Chun sushi lovers in Spokane can save on gas money.

Baek Chun Sushiyama has begun serving its sushi rolls, Japanese and Korean foods in the former Arctic Circle digs on Third Avenue.

Diners will find genial owner Charlie Yamamoto making his unique creations behind the sushi bar, except on Wednesdays when the restaurant is closed so he can travel to Seattle to buy live and fresh fish.

Yamamoto has been making sushi for more than 45 years, pioneering the sushi rage in Seattle during the ’80s and then later at Yamamoto Yama restaurant in Kent, Wash.

He purchased Baek Chun in Airway Heights and the attached Oriental market five years ago. His wife of 35 years, Lucy, is overseeing the Airway Heights sushi bar.

In Spokane, Yamamoto remodeled the former burger joint, and opaque white shades give the space a peaceful, ethereal feel. Restaurant manager Sonyong Schumacher says it offers familiar sushi rolls along with unique Yamamoto creations.

The new location opened in mid-April at 1321 W. Third Ave. The phone number is (509) 624-5553. Hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

The Airway Heights location is at 13032 14th Ave. Reach the restaurant at (509) 244-3545.

Aqua to Agave

Moxie owner and chef Ian Wingate will combine forces with Sergio DeLeon, of DeLeon Mexican Grocery, to open a new Latin bistro called Agave in the space that was Bluefish and briefly became Aqua Asian Bistro.

DeLeon, owner of the North Side market and downtown deli, will be the source for ingredients with Wingate creating the menu for the bistro, 830 W. Sprague Ave.

They gave the public a preview of the restaurant at Taste Washington, including a glimpse of the menu.

It includes carne asada, chorizo, chipotle mahi mahi tacos served on De Leon’s locally made tortillas, along with lobster paella, Peruvian seafood cioppino, smoked beef ribs, wild boar chile verde and roasted duck breast with a habanero chili glaze. (You can see it on fellow chef David Blaine’s blog, From the Back Kitchen. Blaine is the chef at Latah Bistro.)

DeLeon says they hope to open the restaurant in a few weeks.

Name that pub

Other changes are in store along the block. 360 Restaurant, formerly Fugazzi at Hotel Lusso, is closed for renovation, as is Cavallino Lounge, at 1 N. Post St. Hotel Lusso was purchased by the Davenport Hotel in May.

Davenport Hotel spokesman Tom McArthur said the space is undergoing a major renovation. The owners hope to open the new eatery in September.

“We hope it will become known as a great downtown pub more than the restaurant at the Lusso,” he said.

Hotel owner Walt Worthy announced a contest this week to name the pub. The winner will receive $100 cash and an invitation to the opening night reception for the winner and three friends.

Worthy is looking for a single word in English to go with pub, which is short for public house. E-mail suggestions and contact information to: The deadline is 5 p.m. July 17. Time stamps on identical entries will break a tie.

The inclusive exclusive

Noel Macapagal, who was a partner in the attempt to re-create Bluefish as Aqua Asian Bistro, says he’s pulled back to focus on Raw Sushi and Island Grill and Okane on the Hill, as well as plans to open Uno Supper Club and Lounge events to the public.

Macapagal says the supper club dinners at Uno have been exclusive to friends and members of his e-mail list. The dinners in the old Ridpath Hotel, 515 W. Sprague Ave., will now be opened to the public.

To get a reservation, become a member of Ohana Online by e-mailing and watch for details about the Wednesday-night supper club.

The four-course meals are designed to showcase the food of chefs Gonzo Carillo and Nathan Kanae for $30. Each menu gets a two-week run and each has been sold out, Macapagal says.

Macapagal also recently unveiled the new Back Room at Raw, which offers expanded seating. A new VIP lounge for Ohana members, the Black Room, is expected to open later this month.

Raw is at First Avenue and Howard Street in downtown Spokane. Okane on the Hill is at 57th Avenue and Regal Street.

The Dish appears monthly in the Food section. Send news releases, tips and suggestions to Lorie Hutson, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an e-mail to