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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: Work begins on former Milford’s Fish House transformation into Irish pub, restaurant

By Amy Edelen and Nicholas Deshais The Spokesman-Review

Work to renovate the former Milford’s Fish House just north of Spokane’s Monroe Street Bridge into an Irish restaurant has begun, according to city permit data.

Improvements valued at $200,000 will remove walls and reconfigure the kitchen. When complete, the building at the intersection of Monroe and Broadway Avenue will house Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub, an Everett-based, family-owned restaurant chain that has locations in Everett and Seattle.

Shawn O’Donnell Sr., the Irish eatery’s owner, purchased the building, 719 N. Monroe St., in June for $1.13 million, and the restaurant is expected to open in September.

The chain serves Irish-inspired cuisine such as corned beef and cabbage, braised pork shanks and shepherd’s pie, as well as standard pub fare like burgers and wraps. The chain also offers an extensive whiskey list, and the bar will have 14 tap handles, with up to five Irish beers and a rotating list of local brews.

Milford’s closed in February 2018, years after its owner, Jerry Young, said he was considering retiring. The restaurant had opened in 1980 in a building originally built to house the New Transfer Market in 1925. Anton “Tony” Held, a meat cutter who opened the market, had separate vendors for fresh fruits and vegetables, dry goods, baked goods and tobacco, and kept his doors open for just four years until a Piggly Wiggly opened next door. Held’s ads were memorable: “Don’t forget to try some of Tony’s pork sausage, made from little pigs that died happy.” – N.D.

Cambria hotel under development on West Plains

Rockville, Maryland-based Choice Hotels International Inc. is expanding its Cambria Hotels brand to Washington state, with the first property under development on the West Plains.

Choice Hotels signed an agreement with Brar Hotels Group LLC, of Moses Lake, to develop the Cambria hotel at 4611 S. Dowdy Road, according to a company release.

The four-story, 91-room hotel is expected to open in 2020.

“As the largest city in the region, Spokane is the cultural and economic center for the Inland Northwest – making it the ideal market to welcome the Cambria brand,” Mark Shalala, vice president of franchise development and upscale brands, said in a statement.

Cambria hotels is an upscale brand that features modern guestrooms, on-site dining with local craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails, spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors and state-of-the-art fitness centers.

Cambria Hotels has more than 40 locations nationwide. Choice Hotels International franchises more than 7,000 hotels in 40 countries and territories. They range from limited service to upscale properties. – A.E.

Apple Store renovation to include video wall

Downtown Spokane’s Apple Store is installing a $500,000 video wall monitor, according to permits issued by the city.

The 7,000-square-foot building at 710 W. Main Ave. was renovated in 2010 after it was vacated by Eddie Bauer. The Apple Store opened in September 2010.

According to the independent Apple news site,, the Apple “stores built between 2010 and mid-2015 are the most likely candidates to receive a Video Wall and Forum rather than a full shiny new renovation.” The website suggests the video wall will replace the Genius Bar, and “extend the useful life of well-equipped classic locations. The program to upgrade stores with video walls began in 2018 “to upgrade select stores by replacing the Genius Bar” with a the video wall.

Reza Etemad, with Alameda, California’s MBH Architects, is the project’s architect. TES Engineering, out of Cleveland, is the engineer. – N.D.

Self Storage of Spokane opening new location in Hillyard

Self Storage of Spokane is opening a new storage center in Hillyard later this month, marking the company’s third location in the region.

The storage center, at 4415 N. Market St., will offer both climate-controlled and standard units in a variety of sizes. The storage center will also offer packing and moving supplies and as well as truck rentals.

The storage center is slated to open Aug, 24. – A.E.

Contact Nicholas Deshais at (509) 459-5440 or at

Amy Edelen may be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at

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