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A&E >  Food

Hop Jack’s hits Spokane

Pub offers beers, cocktails, casual fare

What’s a Hop Jack?

Find out at a new casual neighborhood eatery in north Spokane. An intriguing 30-foot mural on the back wall inside the new Hop Jack’s restaurant, 9265 N. Nevada St., shows a historic depiction of the men high on stilts, gathering hops for beer brewing. The 19th- and 20th-century workers planted the hops fields, harvested and dried hops.

This is the first Hop Jack’s in Spokane and the sixth restaurant in the chain for owner Mark Eggen of Rock Solid Restaurants. The other Hop Jack’s restaurants are in Bonney Lake, Lacey, Silverdale, Klahanie and Maple Valley, Wash. Eggen has plans for two more Hop Jack’s restaurants in Spokane in the next year, including the South Hill and Spokane Valley.

The casual pub offers 16 regional beers and prides itself on an ice tap system that delivers 34-degree beer to waiting glasses. General manager Lori Karstens said that is too cold for some people, but most don’t mind waiting for it to warm a bit. The restaurant also has an “icy glass” system that keeps lemon drops and other drinks cold for those who like to savor a cocktail. They tap a new beer each Tuesday.

The menu features 14 burgers that all start with hand-formed hamburger patties. A chicken breast can be substituted for the beef. There’s a standard deluxe burger starting at $9.75. The signature black and bleu burger is topped with blue cheese, blackening spices, frizzled onions and chipotle mayo for $11.50, or for serious comfort food lovers the Big Juan Burger is a bacon burger with frizzled onions and tomatoes all stuffed inside a grilled cheese sandwich for $11.50.

Sandwiches, salads, soups and pastas round out the lunch and dinner menus. They also have a hand-cut and house-made fish and chips, and all of the restaurant’s sauces are made from scratch. The happy hour menu is offered 7 days a week from 2 to 6 p.m. and again each night from 9 p.m. to close, with an appetizer menu starting at $3.95, $3.50 well drinks and $4 craft beers.

Customers who save a receipt from dining during the week can get $5 off their breakfast ticket on Saturday and Sunday, 8 to 11 a.m., Karstens said. She was the longtime general manager at Red Robin in Spokane before joining Hop Jack’s. Breakfast includes classic diner fare and features breakfast burritos, scrambled-egg skillets, biscuits and gravy, omelets and eggs Benedict. Prices range from $9.25 for the classic two egg breakfast to $12.95 for steak and eggs.

The restaurant is located in front of the WinCo Foods store on North Nevada Street. Hop Jack’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturdays 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The menu is online at or reach the restaurant at (509) 465-1880.

New owners at Vintages at 611

Steve and Cannies Seddon’s 5-year-old Villaggio Pizza restaurant had outgrown its home on 29th Avenue when they began looking for a new space earlier this year.

Steve Seddon said he was close to signing a deal when he was approached by Tana Rekofke of Vintages @ 611, with an offer to sell her restaurant to him. “I love Tana and she has built such a beautiful space. I thought, ‘What if we can offer the best of both worlds?’ ”

It didn’t take him long to settle on a plan to marry the traditional American fare of Rekofke’s restaurant with the traditional Neopolitan-style pizza and rustic regional dishes they perfected at Villaggio. The Seddons closed the doors at Villaggio, 2013 E. 29th Ave., at the end of August and took over Vintages, 611 E. 30th Ave., on the first of September.

Since then, they have been getting to know the Vintages @ 611 customers and have kept Rekofke’s menu, for the most part. He’s promised not to talk about the personal reasons behind Rekofke’s decision to sell the restaurant, which opened in 2009. He feels strongly about honoring what Rekofke built at Vintages and plans to slowly introduce new dishes to the menu.

If Seddon’s passion is any indication, it won’t be long before Villaggio lovers will be able to get their fix. They are finalizing plans to move the brick pizza oven into the Vintages bar area and begin introducing some of their pizzas and other dishes to the menu. Villaggio was already something of an eclectic affair. Seddon’s wife, Cannies, is Chinese and grew up in Kuala Lumpur, so the menu would occasionally veer from the food of Italy to Asian-inspired hot and sour chili crab.

Vintages @ 611 is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Reach the restaurant at (509) 624-3202.

Total Wine and More opens on North Side

Wine. Superstore. Need I say more?

Total Wine & More opened its first store in Spokane on Friday at 9980 N. Newport Highway in the Northpointe Shopping Center. It is the 87th store for the wine, beer and spirits retailer and the third in Washington.

The store has 25,000 square feet of space and room for more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers. The regional collection alone includes more than 1,450 Washington wines, 55 Washington and Oregon distilled spirits and 540 beers from the Pacific Northwest.

There is a beer tasting bar with a special growler section with 12 taps featuring Washington craft-brewed beers. Several stations with iPads feature tasting and pairing notes, to augment the trained staff. Televisions are tuned to programming on winemakers, distillers and brewers from around the world. An educational classroom is equipped with computers and Wi-Fi for tasting classes and consumer education courses. The room can also be used for community meetings and special events.

Beer and wine tastings, live entertainment and other special grand opening activities will continue through Nov. 18.

Total Wine & More is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. There is more information at or call the store at (509) 466-9107.

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