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Shenanigan’s restaurant sold

Purchase will allow eventual expansion of Convention Center

Downtown Spokane eatery C.I. Shenanigan’s has been purchased by the Spokane Public Facilities District. But loyal customers can take a breath – Shenanigan’s will remain where it is for the next few years.

Facilities District Executive Director Kevin Twohig said buying the restaurant, at 332 N. Spokane Falls Court, will allow for expansion of the Spokane Convention Center. Extra exhibit space and meeting rooms were in the original design but were dropped due to budget problems, he said.

Spokane’s Shenanigan’s, due to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, sits about 25 feet north of the Convention Center’s northeast corner.

The district has set no schedule for the expansion, Twohig said.

Both sides have talked about a sale for more than three years, but a final deal only developed over the past several months.

Earlier this month, property owners Spokane Falls Land Company LLC agreed to sell the land and building for $4.5 million.

As part of the deal the facilities district gave an 18-month lease to the restaurant’s owners. The lease runs until mid-2011; an extra 18-month extension is available after that, Twohig said.

Shenanigan’s is part of a group of more than 20 restaurants with headquarters in the Puget Sound area.

Jeff Iverson, a company executive, said he hasn’t decided if the restaurant will be relocated.

“We’ve got a group of loyal customers and good team members there,” Iverson said. The company will review its options closer to the time it has to close, he said.

The restaurant opened five days after Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980, Iverson said.

“We managed to get it open during all that,” he said.

Twohig said the eventual expansion will require the district to set a plan and take it to voters for approval. “We don’t have any designs or anything to present (to anyone) at this point,” he said.