Tacoma-based Wooden City is expanding to Spokane with a restaurant slated to open in April in the historic Genesee Building.
Renovations began in November to transform the building’s ground floor into the 8,000-square-foot restaurant at 821 W. Riverside Ave.
Longtime Seattle restaurant industry veterans Abe Fox and Jon Green opened Wooden City in downtown Tacoma in 2018. Green, who is Wooden City’s chef, previously worked at The French Laundry in Napa, California, and Gramercy Tavern in New York City.
Fox was drawn to Spokane last year after visiting friends who relocated to the area.
“I loved everything about the city, and there’s a lot of good things going on,” he said, adding he found the Genesee Building through an online property search.
Although Fox will reside in Tacoma, he plans to make frequent trips to oversee the Spokane restaurant. Green, who relocated to Spokane, will oversee restaurant operations.
Wooden City’s concept and menu will be similar to the Tacoma location, which serves wood-fired pizza, burgers, salads, lamb bolognese, steak and potatoes, and small plates, such as oysters on the half shell and smoked salmon toast.
The Spokane Wooden City, upon completion, will contain a dining area, bar and a mezzanine with room for additional tables. There will also be an event space on the mezzanine level.
The project contractor is Craven Co., of Spokane, which purchased the Genesee Building for $700,000 in 2015. The project architect is Spokane-based Uptic Studios.
Craven began renovations in 2016 on the building, which is listed on Spokane’s Register of Historic Places. The 125-year-old building contains four loft-style apartments on the upper floor and is among the last remaining structures from downtown Spokane’s commercial core in the 1890s.
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