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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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St. Joseph Care Center adds 20 beds for rehab

An artist's rendering shows what the planned expansion of St. Joseph Care Center would look like. Courtesy of Mahlum Architects
 (Courtesy of Mahlum Architects / The Spokesman-Review)
An artist's rendering shows what the planned expansion of St. Joseph Care Center would look like. Courtesy of Mahlum Architects (Courtesy of Mahlum Architects / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokesman-Review

Work started last month on a 20-bed expansion of the nonprofit St. Joseph Care Center, a nursing home on the Sacred Heart Medical Center campus.

The Providence Transitional Care Unit will offer private rooms and a gym designed for patients who need cardiac or orthopedic rehabilitation.

The two-story, 19,940-square-foot building, to be attached to the south side of the existing center, will help alleviate crowding at the hospital by removing outpatients from hospital beds, said Mike Kelly, facilities director.

Also owned and operated by Providence Health & Services, the 623-bed hospital about three weeks ago had 605 inpatients and 55 patients in the emergency department, he said.

“We are full,” Kelly said.

The $6.5 million expansion, at 17 E. Eighth Ave., will have a dining space with a large deck and a fireplace, and a garden with different path elevations to assist in orthopedic rehabilitation, Kelly said.

The steel-frame structure can accommodate three additional stories. Plans call for the building to eventually replace the 145-bed center, built in 1965.

Bar, café planned downtown

Two new ventures will add to the nightlife buzz in east downtown Spokane when they open in the next couple months.

Dennis Henderson, also known as DJ Fade, plans to remodel a former ballet studio into The Casbah, a roughly 5,000-square-foot dance club at 416 W. Sprague Ave. Around the corner on Washington Street, former bartender Roger Villareal and partner Ray Wilson, of nearby bar The Blvd., are opening a pizza restaurant called the Monterey Café.

Located above Chicken-n-More, The Casbah is slated to hold nearly 300 revelers between a large dance floor, a pool room and a “chill room” for more intimate conversation. It will have two bars, one adjoining the cavernous dance hall.

“I think the room itself is kind of the attraction, the way it’s laid out,” he said. “The worst thing we could do is come in here and change it too much.”

Henderson plans a recording studio on a balcony overlooking the dance floor and stage, where 24 tracks will feed into a soundboard for later mastering and possible free digital release to concertgoers.

“People that I know that are like in the business – DJs or bartenders or sound guys or whatever – are just like call me, I want to work there, you’re going to kill it up there,” he said.

He hopes to finish the at least $150,000 renovation before Hoopfest, which starts June 28. His partners are his wife, Julie, and Trevor Bennett, all of whom were laid off from a Spokane mortgage company years ago.

The Hendersons had considered opening a teriyaki-bowl eatery at 7 N. Washington St., where Villareal expects to open the café by May 1.

“We’re going to go pizza, but we’re going to try to go with a healthier, more whole-wheat style pizza,” plus salads and wraps, Villareal said.

Owners have painted the interior bright orange and blue, and requested to install a garage-style door and sidewalk cafe. The joint will stay open until 3 or 4 a.m. to cater to the after-bar crowd.

The name is intended to evoke the California surfing vibe.

“We just kind of thought that sounds fresh, that sounds exciting,” Villareal said.

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