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The Dish: New tenant for Rocky Rococo space, plus Camp Taps, Red Lion BBQ and Players and Spectators

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 17, 2021

Rocky Rococo Pizza in downtown Spokane on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
Rocky Rococo Pizza in downtown Spokane on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
By Kris Kilduff For The Spokesman-Review

It’s a new start for the space formerly known as Rocky Rococo, as there has quietly been an impressive takeover happening in Spokane. Rakesh Kaushal, owner of SA3 Restaurant Group, which for the last few years operated Mango Tree locations, has made some serious moves.

SA3 recently acquired the Ref Sportsbar in Spokane Valley and took over the lease for the North Side’s MacKenzie River Pizza as Spokane Pizza Co.

On the heels of both projects, I just learned that SA3 will be opening a second Spokane Pizza Co. location in none other than the former Rocky Rococo downtown.

It’s exciting news for pizza fans who are nostalgic for Rocky Rococo, and, if we are lucky, SA3 will keep that amazing salad bar.

Beer camp

Every once in a while, Spokane breaks the mold with something unique. If you happen to be thrift shopping in the North Monroe vintage district and see a trailer posted up in the parking lot of 1889 Salvage, it’s not nomads looking for a place to rest.

It is owners Blaise and Laurie Ann pouring ice cold beer. Camp Taps is a 1969 refurbished camp trailer retrofitted to be a small, eight-tap drinkery. Fun, quirky little ideas like this are what this city needs to celebrate instead of getting tied down by regulations from the city and liquor board.

All I know is I’ll be a regular customer as long as I can make a bonfire out front to roast some s’mores.

King of the jungle

Red Lion BBQ, a downtown mainstay since its inception in 1960, has quietly sat empty since being sold in 2019. Through COVID-19 and its respective fallout, there has been little news or movement from new owner Jonathan Tampien.

However, a filed liquor license and website dawning a new logo from Scanned Media this week brings hope that the late-night barbecue sports bar will be back in the near future.

Time to play ball

Spokane Valley’s Players and Spectators has a knack for sticking around. The bowling alley has been through rebranding and grand openings featuring everything from a restaurant to an arcade to a late-night club and music venue

Players and Spectators announced amid COVID-19 that it was closing up shop for good. However, it recently resurfaced on social media hosting hiring events and listing new dates for bowling leagues. Looks like there is a little life in there yet.

The Dish is Spokane’s whisperings about the happenings in the Inland Northwest’s food and beverage scene. Its author, Kris Kilduff, can be reached at kris.kilduff56@gmail.com.

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