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Top Notch Café fixed up, nearly ready

The landmark Top Notch Café in Spokane will reopen next month with its bird’s-eye maple woodwork restored, its art deco exterior repainted to the original black and white, and the Deli-Bear cartoons in their accustomed places.

The restaurant at 825 N. Monroe St. will be operated by Don and Tama Torbenson with the help of son Travis, daughter Makayla and three cooks. Torbenson is a former manager of Cyrus O’Leary’s and other Spokane restaurants.

The Top Notch has been closed for more than a year after a succession of operators failed to make a go of the 50-seat café embedded among a group of buildings that includes the Crescent Machine Shop. A&R Investments owns the property.

Pat Jeppesen did the remodeling, much of which involved restoring work he did in 1991, when the maple woodwork was installed. “I’m the bird’s-eye guy,” he said.

Jeppesen said he also replaced a roof damaged by the severe winter, all the overhead fixtures, and updated the mechanicals. The booths will be reupholstered next week, he said, estimating the total cost of the work at $100,000.

He said the Top Notch is the oldest Spokane restaurant to have occupied the same site.

Don Torbenson said the Top Notch will be open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and will also be available for special evening events.

He said he expects lots of to-go orders from the Spokane County Courthouse and surrounding businesses, noting the area has rebounded since the Monroe Street Bridge was reopened in 2005. The new YMCA/YWCA opened across the street in May.

Also across the street is the Alpine Bistro & Bakery, where Torbenson will order fresh bread daily for the café’s burgers and sandwiches. Salads will also be offered at lunch. Breakfast will feature an assortment of traditional and unique fare, including the Torby’s omelet with sauerkraut and German sausage.

CAT dealership opens in Hayden

The public today is invited to check out the new Western States CAT – a Caterpillar sales and service facility – at 10780 N. Highway 95 in Hayden.

The company bills the $10 million, 55,765-square-foot facility as one of the largest and most energy efficient projects to be built in Idaho this year.

“Our goal with this project was to build something good for the community that supports the service, sales, parts and rental needs of our customers in one of the most vibrant regions of the state,” President Tom Harris said.

It features a 30,000-square-foot service area with 10 full-service bays and six cranes, including a 10-ton overhead crane. A 10,000-square-foot warehouse is stocked with 10,000 parts. The complex also includes a CAT Rental Store, which originally opened in Hayden in 2006 with Caterpillar’s full line of equipment and other gear.

A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday, and a “community appreciation day” is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Visitors will see the No. 31 CAT Racing Chevy Impala SS NASCAR driven by Jeff Burton.

Call (208) 884-2249.

Spa and fitness studio opens on South Hill

Grassroots Wellness Spa & Fitness Studio will open Aug. 1 at 1303 S. Grand Blvd., on Spokane’s South Hill. A grand opening celebration for the public is set for Aug. 1 and 2, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Owner Julie Greeley said her concept for the new business “is a place where you can retreat and get back to your grassroots, a place where you can focus on you.”

Grassroots will offer organic facials, pedicures and manicures; yoga classes for all ages; Pilates and meditation classes; and biofeedback treatment, detoxifying footbaths, life coaching and massage therapy.

Call (509) 474-0213.

Sunless tanning business starts up

SunKissed Tan/Airbrush Body Bronzing has opened inside LUSH Hair & Body Bar, 122 S. Monroe St., Spokane. It’s on the building’s upper level.

Spray tanning takes 15 minutes and can cover a person head to toe. It uses dihydroxyacetone, a simple carbohydrate. The sunless tan lasts up to eight days.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday by appointment. Call (509) 747-3632 or (509) 979-7569.

Deputy City Editor Scott Maben contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528.