The new restaurant takes its name from the place that inspired it.
That’s not only the Inland Northwest but the much larger area extending from the mountains to the sea and encompassing Washington as well as much of Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia and part of Northern California.
Cascadia Public House sources ingredients from around the region. The chicken comes from California. The beef, bacon and cheese originates in Oregon. The burger patties and eggs hail from around Washington. And bread and buns are made in Spokane by Alpine Bakery.
The owners of the new north Spokane gastropub care about transparency as well as using regional, sustainably raised food. So they list – and link to – their providers on their website.
“We want you to know we’re using quality products,” said Jordan Smith, 27, one of the five owners of Cascadia Public House, which opened in late spring in the Five Mile neighborhood. “Our goal is to feed the North Side with an awesome quality food.”
Cascadia is open for lunch and dinner and features fresh takes and Pacific Northwest influences on classic American fare. The new owners – friends, brothers, their dad – aim to offer a welcoming spot, particularly for those who live nearby. They’re going after, Smith said, that “Cheers” feeling.
“We want that neighborhood vibe in here,” he said. “We’re trying to connect with people. We want it to be really welcoming and comfortable and inviting. We want people to feel genuinely connected.
“Hate,” Smith said, “has no business here.”
Weekends are busiest, and guests are likely to be greeted by one or more of the owners. They include Robby Hatch, 28; Justin Oliveri, 28; his brother, Johnny Oliveri, 30; and their father, John Oliveri, who handles morning prep and the business side of the restaurant.
They all pitch in. But Smith and Hatch can typically be found at the front of the house while Justin Oliveri heads the kitchen and his brother tends bar.
Smith and Hatch have known each other since they were about 5. “He was like my first friend,” Smith said. They met the Oliveri brothers in high school or at JJ’s Tap and Smoke House, where they all worked before opening Cascadia.
They bought the business in February and spent about two and a half months remodeling the space, which held a brightly colored taco spot and bar. They repainted, toning down the color scheme, refinishing the polished concrete and going for an overall look that’s clean and contemporary.
“We didn’t want to make it feel like a sports bar,” Smith said.
Cascadia is done in gray and black, with two roll-top doors, a concrete counter at the bar and custom-built fire features on the cozy patio.
The place is open seven days a week. The dining area is kid-friendly. The patio is pet-friendly. There’s happy hour, too. The bar includes regional wine, beer and spirits.
“The MangoTini has been selling like crazy,” Smith said. So has the Huckleberry Limeade with 44 Degrees North Huckleberry Vodka from Idaho – it’s in the Cascadia Lemon Drop, too – along with the Maple Street mule with vodka from Dry Fly in Spokane.
The menu includes gluten-free as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Top-sellers are the Chicken BLTA, with cilantro-lime aioli, Mary’s Free Range Chicken and a bun from Alpine Bakery; the Cascadia Burger, with Tillamook cheddar, beef from Gebbers Cattle and an Alpine bun; and The Dip with sliced sirloin from St. Helens Beef, Fontina from Ferndale Farmstead, horseradish, au jus and an Alpine bun.
Decisions – from decor to the menu – are made by a show of hands.
“Pretty much everything we did was a vote,” Hatch said. “There’s five of us so three votes wins. It’s been a lot of fun. I feel like I have (somewhere) to hang my hat.”