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Running Tab: South Perry Lantern opens for business, and the menu and remodel shine bright

Amid the record-setting heat wave in the city, business owner Jeremy Tangen officially opened South Perry Lantern in the Perry District on June 30 after a two-week soft opening.

South Perry Lantern is located at 1004 S. Perry St. in the former Lantern Tap House and underwent an extensive remodeling before opening that includes reorganizing and opening the floorplan, bringing in more natural light and restoring natural woodwork.

“As we discussed the plans for this project, outside of just general improvements to the sanitation and safety elements, we decided that we wanted to make sure to bring back the historic charm of the century-old building,” Tangen said via email.

“I feel like we’ve hit the mark in finding a balance between modernization and a nod to the historical side of things.”

The specific revisions include the addition of multiple windows; construction of a 21-foot custom bar featuring a 14-handle beer system, including two taps dedicated to house wines custom crafted for South Perry Lantern by Bareli Cellars; and reconfiguration of 2,200 square feet of dining and kitchen space for a larger dining area and more seating options.

Additionally, South Perry Lantern boasts a robust craft beer selection, “Mug Club” and reimagined menu by chef Alex Szambelan, formally of Broadmoor in Colorado. The menu also includes a weekend brunch, which has been popular during the soft opening.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve put together here for this menu,” Szambelan said via email. “There are many dishes on the menu that you won’t find anywhere else in Spokane.”

Dining at South Perry Lantern

A Spokesman-Review colleague and I dined at South Perry Lantern on Thursday evening, its second official day of operation. The menu from Szambelan was top-notch and varied, and the service was friendly despite it being only the second day and the dining rooms, bar and patio at near capacity.

Appetizers of smoked oysters and a Philly egg roll started the evening strongly and flavorfully. The beautiful display of seven mesquite smoked oysters was served with a refreshing tomato mignonette (my colleague thought the oysters were fantastic), and the egg roll with shaved beef, caramelized onions and peppers and American cheese was mouth-watering.

Entrees were fish and chips, Tropical tuna and Korean ramen. The River City Red beer-battered cod fillets could’ve been a little crispier, but it was still an overall solid entrée. The Tropical tuna – sesame-crusted ahi tuna, springtime quinoa pilaf and pineapple salsa – was presented well, but it needed more flavor and seasonal. That said, I love tuna and would still order it.

The Korean Ramen was the evening’s star. Yes, it’s hot as Hades, but I’ll still order a hot bowl of ramen because I love ramen. This savory and very satisfying version includes black pepper beef (similar to bulgogi), kimchi, a soft-boiled egg, green onions and shiitake mushrooms. I was not expecting to find such Asian culinary deliciousness at South Perry Lantern!

The cocktails to complement dinner were the Grand 75 (pear brandy, champagne, St. Germain and lemon), Perry Mule (Deep Eddy vodka, pear cider, ginger beer and lime) and Your Favorite Starburst (tequila, prickly pear juice and lime). Yes, the latter tasted just like the candy in liquid form!

All three cocktails are great choices, and I will order the remaining three cocktails on the current menu – Rye So Sour (Woodinville rye, lemon, lime and egg white), Strawberry Kisses (Skyy vodka, strawberry, lime and champagne) and Not Bond’s Martini (Bombay Sapphire, dry vermouth and green olives – stirred, not shaken) – the next time I’m at South Perry Lantern.

South Perry Lantern is still accepting applications for all positions, with a $500 signing bonus after a three-month training period, at

Tangen’s businesses, under Tangen Hospitality Inc., are River City Brewing, Fast Eddie’s Bar & Grill, Borracho Tacos & Tequileria, Red Wheel Bar and Grill, Boombox Pizza and Tangen Properties.

The Lantern Tap House opened in the Perry District in 2009, and owners Mike and Melinda Dolmage closed it in January.

“We are very excited to bring something new to the South Perry community,” Tangen said. “We are here to complement the already amazing businesses and people who are the cornerstone of the community.”