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The Dish: Is Northern Quest revamping its culinary program? Also: A Market Street Pizza patio, Charlie P’s rebrand and third Poole’s Public House?

UPDATED: Tue., July 20, 2021

Market Street Pizza’s specialty – Tomato Pie made with aged mozzarella, fresh basil, parmigiana and olive oil.  (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)
Market Street Pizza’s specialty – Tomato Pie made with aged mozzarella, fresh basil, parmigiana and olive oil. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)
By Kris Kilduff For The Spokesman-Review

Shhh … it’s a secret. The Dish is Spokane’s new whisperings about the happenings in the Inland Northwest’s food and beverage scene. Ever wanted to casually overhear a business owner’s plan for a new restaurant? Salvage secret menu items directly from the chefs? Now those secrets spilt over a beer are front page news for you to read!

Vision Quest

I was very quiet when one of my chef friends, John Courtney, who at the time was the chef de cuisine for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, came to town for a meeting. Northern Quest Resort and Casino apparently sent a team of headhunters to Las Vegas and loved what he was doing over there so much that they flew him in for an interview.

Courtney turned down a job offer but revealed that Northern Quest is looking to put big money into a complete revamp of its culinary offerings, including bringing in Portland and/or Seattle brands in the next few years.

After some movement and the tearing down of River’s Edge Buffet, it looks like the first steps of the rehaul might be falling into place. I can’t divulge specifics yet, but there were very interesting names being thrown around, including a fried chicken brand of the likes Spokane has yet to see.

Patio pie

I recently ate lunch at Market Street Pizza and happened to catch owners Aaron and Angel Fiorini in a meeting with their contractor. I snuck in and got a real-time sneak peek at their plans to put in a giant outdoor patio, pizza oven and stage on the south side of their building.

Since they sit atop the main hill on Market, what already is some of the best pizza in town might also give any Spokane patios a run for their money.

Sorry, Charlie

I recently talked to Spokane’s “5 Star Dive Bar” Charlie P’s owner Christian Kriegel, who purchased the popular Spokane Valley eatery in 2019. He told me there are plans for a long-overdue rebranding this fall that includes a new name, new theme and an expanded barbecue section on the menu.

Kriegel is installing a couple large pit smokers on-site and promises some competition in an increasingly packed Valley barbecue market. He also said he will do everything possible to keep the “soul” of Charlie P’s alive, and that includes a big “retirement party” for the name.

Poole party

In the last week, I’ve heard from several parties who are connected to Scott and Lisa Poole – owners of Poole’s Public House, who have two locations, one on North Ruby and a second on South Regal – that they have plans for opening a third location and even have taken real estate steps on making this happen.

The great sports bar atmosphere of Poole’s often gets overlooked because each of the current establishments are on the outer edges of town. If the rumor of a third location is true, my lust for Big Man’s Chili and Scotch eggs is more than enough to hope for something more centralized.

Kris Kilduff can be reached at kris.kilduff56@gmail.com.

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