Berserk Bar is coming to downtown Spokane sometime this spring.
The specialty at the forthcoming full-service bar “is more vibe and mood than classic cocktails,” said James Hunt, a local musician and bartender and one of Berserk’s four owners.
He’ll be found most nights of the week behind the bar at Berserk, along with co-owner Lon McRae. The other two owners are Lon McRae’s wife, the artist Beth McRae, and their good friend Josh Davis.
“We’re all bar industry people,” said Hunt , who previously worked at the now-closed Jones Radiator as well as the Observatory in downtown Spokane.
Berserk will feature “a limited amount of taps, maybe eight,” Hunt said, adding, “Good beer will be a focus.”
Ambiance will be, too. It’s important to all four owners, Hunt said, “to build a place that’s dark and comfortable, where the music is cold and the drinks are loud” – kind of, he noted, “like Baby Bar.”
He’s a fan of the hole-in-the-wall, dimly-lighted bar, tucked behind Neato Burrito in downtown Spokane and known for its jukebox as well as signature cocktail: a Greyhound made from fresh-pressed grapefruit juice.
“We were definitely very inspired by the atmosphere at Baby Bar specifically,” Hunt said. “We really love what they are doing there.”
Still, the exact aesthetic at Berserk is still being worked out.
“We’re building everything from scratch,” Hunt said. “Everything’s going to be brand new,” except for the building itself.
Berserk will be located in an old brick building at 125 S. Stevens St. in downtown Spokane.
The four friends recently found the location. But, Hunt said, they had been planning to open a bar together for the past three years. “We’ve been getting a business plan together and figuring out exactly what we wanted to do,” Hunt said.
Their idea is to open a lounge that’s “punk rock but clean,” with dark, intimate lighting, low-slung tables, midcentury modern couches and – wait for it – “as many pin ball machines as we can pack in.”
The plan is also to play records, celebrate Spokane’s art and DIY scene and – from time to time – showcase live music.
“We’re not going to be a venue, but we plan on having shows every once in awhile,” Hunt said. “We are trying to focus on the art scene in Spokane. We want to create a space to help perpetuate the DIY scene in Spokane.”
To that end, First Fridays will be a big deal at Berserk, which is planning to hold some “big First Friday bashes. There will be something happening for First Friday every First Friday,” Hunt said.
Berserk will be beverages-only, no food. The plan is to open in mid afternoon seven days per week – and stay open until 2 a.m. “We’re not going to play around with that,” Hunt said.
Find Berserk Bar on Facebook at www.facebook.com/berserkbarspokane/.
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