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Wednesday, January 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ruins owner speeding up construction of new restaurant on West Riverside Avenue

Tony Brown in Ruins in 2014. Brown is opening his second restaurant, Eyvind. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Tony Brown in Ruins in 2014. Brown is opening his second restaurant, Eyvind. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The opening of a downtown restaurant by the popular Spokane chef, Tony Brown, is gathering speed, according to permits issued by the city.

Eyvind, 225 W. Riverside Ave., will be Brown’s second location. He owns Ruins, the well-known restaurant near the Spokane County Courthouse, which is housed in a small, historic art deco diner on North Monroe Street.

The new restaurant has been slowly undergoing renovation for more than a year, but the latest permits show $75,000 in interior work, signaling an acceleration.

The work is on two spaces in the Bickett Building, which was recently renovated and has upper floor apartments. A 2,080-square-foot main floor will house Eyvind, which he has said will be “very vegetable forward” and focused on seasonal and scratch-made Inland Northwest cuisine made with local ingredients.

The the 1,860-square-foot basement will house another restaurant by Brown called Hunt, which will be “elevated campfire food” that’s “not vegetarian at all,” Brown said.

The restaurant is named for Eyvind Earle, who died in 2000 at age 84 and was known for his works of magical realism, such as the background illustrations for animated Disney films in the 1950s. He joined Disney in 1951 and is probably best known for the background and styling on “Sleeping Beauty” from 1959.

Ruins — known for its Monday night McRuins menu imitating McDonald’s food and the Sunday night meals that have cycled from ramen to full-course vegetarian meals to street food — was Brown’s first restaurant, after opening Stella’s with his family and working for years at Mizuna. The restaurant has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

The work is being done by Brown and Jed Conklin, the building’s owner. The project’s architect is Russell Page Architects, of Spokane.

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