March 18, 2011 in Business

Sapphire Lounge remodel set for completion in May

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Anny Gold of the Hotel Ruby staff walks past new construction expanding the downtown Spokane facility. The work will cost about $300,000.
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Jerry Dicker, owner of the Hotel Ruby, is partnering with Sante executive chef Jeremy Hansen to pack some pizzazz into a new downtown Spokane hangout and eatery, the Sapphire Lounge. It’s due to open in May in the remodeled corner of the Hotel Ruby, 901 W. First Ave.

The remodel, designed by Nystrom Olson Architects and done by Mauer Construction, of Spokane, will come to roughly $300,000.

Hansen has made fans around the area with his slow-cook, visually appealing cuisine at Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie in the Liberty Building, 402 W. Main Ave., at the other end of downtown. He’s decided to hook into the Sapphire idea, seeing it as a complement and a place to try out the idea of small-bite foods with snazzy libations.

Hansen said he’s working closely with Sapphire bartender Paul Samson to develop plates and drinks that work together.

He’ll make updated versions of old-school drinks like Pimm’s Cups and Sazeracs, he said. He’s also putting in a soda siphon to whip out some carbonated specials. “I’ll be able to do carbonized chocolate milk, for example,” he said.

“We’ll serve martinis too, but it won’t be a martini bar,” Hansen said.

Dicker, who invested in the Ruby a few years ago, completed its remodel last year. He decided the building’s corner at Lincoln and First was ideal for a tasteful but small lounge to accent the building’s location, near the downtown arts district.

But it required a major remodel, including a new concrete slab and new walls.

“It’s a way to bring some excitement to the customers and to the community,” Dicker said.

But yes, it is small, measuring roughly 1,000 square feet, a space that includes a tiny kitchen and a bar with stools. That leaves a little space for chairs and benches for dining or sipping.

Dicker thinks seating, once the lounge is ready, will be for roughly 30 to 35 people.

The lounge will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays only. Information: www.hotelruby spokane.com.

Inlander moves to Hutton Building

The Pacific Northwest Inlander, a weekly newspaper in Spokane, signed a lease for 10,000 square feet of office space on the fourth floor of the historic Hutton Building, 9 S. Washington St..

The Inlander moved last week after 10 years in the Civic Building, 1020 W. Riverside Ave.

Developed and renovated by Rob Brewster, the Hutton Building was built in 1907 by railroad engineer Levi Hutton and his wife, May Awkright Hutton, who was active in the women’s suffrage movement. The couple made their fortune from silver mined from the Hercules Mine near Wallace, Idaho.

Designed by prominent Spokane architect John K. Dow, the Hutton Building originally had four stories, but three more levels were added in 1910.

“It’s a great building, and we wanted to stay downtown,” editor and publisher Ted McGregor said. “It’s easily accessible and is in a highly visible location.”

The Hutton is targeting new urban retailers and services to complete complement tenants that include McKinstry, Reference Pro and Thinking Cap, a creative advertising and graphic design agency.

“We’d like to see a bar or lounge, perhaps another art gallery or a sandwich shop, and we’d love to see a hip barber shop,” said Cody George of Kimle & Hagood, the broker for the Hutton. “These are the types of retail tenants that can create a great synergy at the ground level, generating more pedestrian activity and providing great amenities and services to our office tenants.”

Church to rise near Deer Park

The Deer Park Mennonite Church will start work soon on a new church building at 4489 Williams Valley Road, west of Clayton.

The church will span about 3,800 square feet, not counting a basement. The congregation has about 60 members, said general contractor Mark Weaver, a deacon at the church.

The project is listed at $1 million in a Stevens County building permit.

The church now rents a building in Loon Lake, Weaver said. Lamar Hege is the minister of Deer Park Mennonite Church.

Construction at the wooded Clayton site is expected to begin next month. Weaver said the goal is to finish in summer 2012 and move in that fall.

Sleep City coming to Lake City

Sleep City will open a new Coeur d’Alene outlet at 148 W. Bosanko Ave. The furniture and accessories retailer has two Spokane locations.

The Lake City location will open on April 1, said Chad Carper, with Kiemle & Hagood, who brokered the deal. Sleep City is leasing 4,000 square feet.

Business parks adds new tenants

Cascade Flooring Systems, LLC, and Powell Industries, Inc., are leasing buildings at the Spokane Business and Industrial Park, 3808 N. Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.

Cascade, which provides commercial flooring, has leased 1,250 square feet.

Powell, a distributor of electronics components, is taking 4,150 square feet.

Deputy City Editor Scott Maben contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on development and business changes in the Inland Northwest. E-mail business@spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5528.


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