Guy Fieri recently traveled through this region, posting a photo a few days ago on his Instagram account from the Post Falls location of Capone’s Pub and Grill.
“We were here 8 years ago. Place still rocks,” he wrote under the image, which shows people gathered around the Food Network star and a table full of food in front of the bar. It includes the hashtag #familyroadtrip.
This week, a spokesperson for Food Network wouldn’t confirm Spokane or north Idaho filming details, citing scheduling and security.
“Unfortunately, I can’t confirm details while in production, due to security and a need to shoot locations and stay on a schedule,” public relations manager Julie Chudow said in an email Tuesday.
Fieri filmed in the area in 2010, visiting Chaps, Elk Public House, Hills’ Restaurant and Lounge, Picabu Neighborhood Bistro, Waddell’s Pub and Grille, and Jimmy’s Down the Street along with Capone’s for his show “Diners, Drive-In and Dives.”
This time, though, Chudow isn’t releasing exact locations – at least not yet.
“But, in theory, a handful of locations are always considered for any city to be effective,” she said. “For background on how restaurants are selected, the show producers generally do research on an ongoing basis for cities they plan to visit, including restaurants coming through recommendation and word of mouth.”
Chudow promised to be in touch once air dates are confirmed.
She also noted that, “specific to DDD, there is no formal application, as much as producers finding the gems that local residents visit/talk about.”
Fieri, 50, hosts several Food Network shows along with the popular Triple D, including “Guy’s Family Road Trip.”
He won the second season of “Food Network Star” in 2006 – and the prize of a six-episode show of his own: “Guy’s Big Bite.” He’s also since starred in “Guy’s Grocery Games,” “Guy’s Big Project” and “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.”
Travis Tveit, the chef at Iron Goat Brewing in downtown Spokane, appeared on “Guy’s Grocery Games” a couple of years ago. He didn’t win. But, he told The Spokesman-Review in 2016, “It was great. It was fun. I got to meet Guy Fieri. He is cool. He makes jokes and stuff. He is fun to hang out with.”
Last time Fieri was at Capone’s, he noshed on Capone’s Ultimate Cheeseburger, Roasted Chicken Garlic Pizza and Beef Philly Grinder. The Spokesman-Review is still trying to catch up with owners Teresa and Tom Capone to see how his latest visit went. Meantime, Tom Capone has updated his Facebook page cover photo with a snap of Fieri’s signature red convertible which appears to be parked in front of his Post Falls pub.
One spot Fieri didn’t visit this time through the region was Prohibition Gastropub on North Monroe Street. After an “intense” two weeks of vetting, the pub learned May 31 that it didn’t make the cut to appear on an upcoming episode of Triple D.
The vetting process ran from mid to late May and included “about 50 emails back and forth,” said Jill Leonetti, who owns the restaurant with her husband, the chef, J.D. Leonetti.
“It was super exciting,” she said. “It was a cool experience to even be considered.”
It was also “high pressure,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe the level of detail. You can’t keep the recipe from them. They want the exact measurements. And they were not interested in anything if it’s not scratch-made.”
Prohibition is a “scratch-made restaurant,” said Leonetti, noting producers for “Diners, Drive-In and Dives” also wanted photos of entrees as well as the interior and exterior of the restaurant, the oven, the refrigerator – even, Leonetti said, what was in the refrigerator.
They had lots of questions.
“Where do you get the salmon? Is it line-caught? Does it come from the Columbia River? Alaska? The Atlantic? They want to know everything that goes into each (menu) item. They want to know if you use a pot or a sauce pan. They want to know the oven temp. You’ve got to go through it step by step,” Leonetti said. “They want to be able to narrate whatever it is. They want to be able to tell that story.”
One thing they weren’t interested in, however, was the pub’s top-selling Al Capone burger, which has an egg on it.
“She (one of the producers) told me on the phone, ‘Guy doesn’t like eggs. He won’t want to talk about that burger.’ So that was weird, but whatever,” Leonetti said. “She also told me that Guy won’t try anything first. Someone else will try it before he does.”
They also wanted to know, Leonetti said, “if we had customers that would come in when we film and talk to Guy.”
That, Leonetti said, wouldn’t have been a problem.
But, if selected, the restaurant would have to close for a half day two days in a row on short notice. That was something Leonetti was worried about as a mom-and-pop shop business owner during busy graduation catering season.
Still, she said, “I wish we knew what we could do differently.”
She learned May 31 that their restaurant wasn’t chosen for filming and, “it was just crickets after that, Leonetti said. “They gave us no feedback.”
But that hasn’t stopped her from thinking about why Prohibition might’ve been left off the short list.
“We’re high-end pub food,” she said. “Maybe we didn’t fit the M.O. Our kitchen is 10-by-8, and that might be really challenging to film in.”
She also wondered if the North Monroe Street Corridor Project might’ve deterred them.
“A big deal is Guy drives up in his fancy car in front of the restaurant,” Leonetti said. “Our road is completely missing from the front of our business. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.”