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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Here’s the Dirt: Masonic Center renovates elevators

 Carlton Oakes, chief executive officer of the Spokane Masonic Center, said $350,000 has been spent to renovate the building’s elevators.  (Colin Mulvany)
Carlton Oakes, chief executive officer of the Spokane Masonic Center, said $350,000 has been spent to renovate the building’s elevators. (Colin Mulvany)

The second of four phases to rehabilitate the Spokane Masonic Center has Chief Executive Officer Carlton Oakes looking up, and down.

The just-completed work overhauled elevators installed in the early 1970s to give those with disabilities access to all six of the building’s floors, Oakes said.

The elevators were becoming less reliable, he said, and what was state-of-the-art technology 40 years ago has long since become dated.

“It was becoming a maintenance nightmare,” Oakes said.

Controllers, cables and motors were replaced, which has improved the ride, he said. DC circuitry has been replaced with AC.

The $350,000 project was funded with grants from the Washington State Heritage Capital Projects Fund and National Park Service, and private donations. Avista Utilities provided a rebate for energy savings.

Oakes said the elevators, by improving access, should increase income for the center, which was built in 1905 and expanded in 1923.

He said a $700,000 restoration of the building’s Riverside Avenue façade in 2007 was phase 1 of the modernization. The third will repair sidewalks that vault offices on Riverside, and on the north side provide access to the auditorium and furnaces, which will be repaired or replaced during phase 4.

Once those tasks are completed, the interior spaces will be remodeled, Oakes said.

MacKenzie River Pizza coming to Spokane

The Montana restaurant company that’s already building a Ciao Mambo eatery in downtown Spokane also announced it will open a MacKenzie River Pizza Co. store on the city’s north side next year.

Glacier Restaurant Group said it will lease a new 5,800-square-foot restaurant at the corner of North Nevada Street and East Jay Avenue. The owner of the site is Spokane Pavilion LLC. It’s going into the area where the anchor tenant is WinCo Foods.

This will be the first MacKenzie River Pizza Co. in Washington. Montana, so far, is home to a dozen MacKenzie River Pizza locations; Coeur d’Alene has one.

The north Spokane pizza restaurant will open in spring 2011 and is expected to bring in more than 70 jobs to the Spokane area, according to Cory Barbieri, who handled the transaction for Glacier and Spokane Pavilion LLC.

The new building will cost about $1.1 million, with Lone Wolf Construction of Montana as general contractor.

The Nevada Street location was chosen by Glacier because it has the appeal of north Spokane access with the “added bonus of being located in an up-and-coming retail center,” said Brad Ridgeway, COO of Glacier Restaurant Group.

A cup of joe and a wag of the tail

You’re craving a cappuccino and Greek orzo salad – and your filthy pooch wants to tag along.

Where to go, where to go?

Well, Barks and Beans on Spokane’s South Hill would be a logical stop.

The new self-dogwash and full-service groomer just happens to double as a coffee shop with full deli menu. Owners Kimberly Brown and Roger Villareal opened the business Monday at 1314 S. Grand Blvd., Suite 3, near the new Savory restaurant.

Customers can provide self-service dog shampoos and grooming, or visit the adjoining café and deli. A dog groomer is on hand for professional pet care.

And in case you envision fur floating into your smoothie, the 1,200-square-foot space is split by a wall, with the barks neatly segregated from the beans.

The owners lease the space through NAI Black. They employ a full-time barista and full-time groomer.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends.

New shop sells Brazilian wares

Joana Deus is operating the Casa Brazil retail shop at 2408 Northwest Blvd., in north Spokane.

The shop offers a range of handmade Brazilian products, including furniture, decorations, ceramics and other items. Deus, a native Brazilian, orders nearly all the products directly from Brazilian artisans, she said.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For information visit

Zome Design offers screen printing, embroidery

Zome Design, LLC, is leasing roughly 8,000 square feet in Building 3 of the Spokane Business and Industrial Park, 3808 N. Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.

The company offers screen printing and embroidery services. The Valley site is for production; Zome’s head office is in downtown Spokane. It employs 20 workers.

Tom Sowa and Scott Maben of The Spokesman-Review contributed to this report.
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