A new soul food restaurant providing life skills and job training for teenagers will begin $120,000 in interior remodel work, according to permits issued by the city of Spokane.
Fresh Soul, 3029 E. Fifth Ave., is owned by the Spokane Eastside Reunion Association, a nonprofit that also runs a basketball camp and a tutoring program for K-12 students at the Spokane Public Library’s East Side branch.
Michael C. Brown, founder of the association who has lived in East Central for nearly six decades, said the restaurant would specialize in seafood gumbo, but would also serve chicken, pulled pork and other Southern food staples.
The goal of the restaurant was to provide job training to up to 40 Spokane teenagers every year, including in the use of a computer cash register system common at restaurants, serving food and dishwashing.
“Of course, we’ll have qualified help in there to train them,” Brown said.
The restaurant, anticipated to be open by the end of the year, will serve lunch and dinner.
“It’s going to be awesome. I promise you that,” Brown said.
Brown said progress at the restaurant, which is in the location of the old Flipper’s Ice Creamery, has been helped along by donations from, among others, Lowe’s, A&M Hardware, Numerica Credit Union and the Gonzaga School of Business Administration, which helped write the business plan. Brown especially credited the city, because of its help through a grant.
“Along with my main man, God himself,” he said.
The project’s contractor is Spokane-based GR8 NW Construction. Bernardo|Wills is the architect.
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