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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Family-friendly dining specialty at Barlows

Juli Bergstrom-Wasson

A longtime Spokane restaurateur is breathing new life into a familiar Liberty Lake building.

Newman Lake resident Alicia Dodd opened Barlows Family Restaurant in the vacant building that first opened in 2005 with Caffé Liberte and later Stilos Seafood and Steakhouse, which closed in mid-2008.

After watching the last closure, Dodd seized the opportunity to bring her idea of a family friendly restaurant to the area. Doors opened Dec. 7 after she and business partner Clark Kelsey purchased and refurbished the arts and crafts style building that suffered water damage from the previous winter. They installed new flooring, a counter with bar stools and dining booths throughout. The interior still features darker wood and the cozy fireplace.

“I always thought a family restaurant would be great here because we have a lot of families living out here,” said Dodd, who grew up in the restaurant business with her parents owning a Greek cafe in Spokane. She also helped her family open another restaurant in north Spokane.

Thus far, Dodd says she has had positive response to Barlows. She’s hoping her menu of longtime family recipes and other comfort foods, moderate prices, and the casual dining atmosphere continue to bring customers to the table.

Barlows currently is open for breakfast and lunch, and features American-style food such as burgers, deli sandwiches and breakfast items that are available all day. A drive-up espresso window opens at 5:30 a.m. Customers are welcome to call ahead and pick up orders through the drive-up window.

Dodd says plans are under way to open for dinner. A beer and wine list will be added to the menu soon, but the restaurant does not feature a lounge area. Also, a meeting room that accommodates about 40 people will be available soon.

By summertime, just as the farmers market opens nearby, Dodd says she hopes to have music piped to the exterior and outdoor dining available.

Are you opening a new business in the Spokane Valley? Is your business expanding, moving or remodeling? Are you wondering about that new store that has opened in your neighborhood? Send an e-mail to Juli Wasson at or contact us by fax at (509) 927-2175 or by writing to Business Focus, Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, WA 99216.
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