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The Grain Shed is expanding to Hillyard, Liberty Lake

By Adriana Janovich For The Spokesman-Review

The proprietors behind South Perry’s Grain Shed are planning new eateries in Hillyard and Liberty Lake.

Shaun Thompson Duffy and his partners don’t have a set timeline yet. But they expect to open a lunch spot in northeast Spokane “sometime this year,” Duffy said.

The Liberty Lake project – a full-scale restaurant, wholesale bakeshop and milling operation – is slated for completion in 2023.

Here’s a quick look at preliminary plans for both locations.

Hillyard

The first thing to know about this new eatery is, Duffy said, “It’s not going to be Grain Sheddy. We will have Grain Shed beer, but don’t go there looking for bread. It’s a totally different concept. We’re going to cater to the lunch crowd.”

Like the Grain Shed, which houses both a wood-fired bakery and brewery, Locos will occupy a shared space. The plan is to pair with Bellwether Brewing, which is opening a second location.

The name, short for locomotives, pays homage to Hillyard’s past as a railroad hub. “We want to honor the neighborhood’s working-class roots,” said Victor Lewin, who will manage the day-to-day operations. He’s also overseeing menu development.

“Right now, the concept is modern international redneck cuisine,” he said.

Expect a “50-50 honky-tonk and punk-rock” vibe. But, Lewin said, “It’s going to be a family-friendly place. We’re going to craft the menu so that it’s suitable for all age groups.”

Look for elevated interpretations of classic cookout and street-style foods made from “honest ingredients. We’re going to focus on using local grains and meats and produce,” Lewin said. “Instead of using Velveeta, we’re going to use a regional cheese. But we’re not scared of using Velveeta when we need to.”

He’s interested in offering Tex-Mex cuisine but “not so much tacos. I want to stay away from being branded a taco shop.”

Look, instead, for his Texas red chili. It’s his calling card and his résumé. When he moved to Spokane from the Seattle area four years ago and was first looking for a job, he stopped at the Grain Shed to meet Duffy.

“I brought him some Texas red chili, and we sat down and talked,” said Lewin, who ended up working there a couple of weeks later.

What makes his Texas red chili so special? “It tastes like home,” Duffy said. “It’s a nostalgia thing. It sort of brings you back.”

Lewin’s Texas red chili features ground beef and a blend of spices. “It’s red from the chile peppers and different chile powders that are in it,” he said. “It’s my very strict interpretation of my understanding of what chili is.”

Lewin sometimes prepares his Texas red chili for the Grain Shed, but it isn’t an everyday offering. At Locos, Duffy said, “it will be there every day, all of the time.”

In fact, Lewin said, “the premise will be chili on anything – if you want it.”

Other offerings might include chicken wings, pork ribs, Kalua-style pork, tortas, Mexican-style meats such as carnitas, and “fresh and seasonal salads. I’m going to do a fun take on a Caesar salad,” Lewin said, acknowledging the menu is “kind of all over the place right now. I can’t wait to get in there and see what I have space and room to do.”

Many items will be meant for sharing. “We’re still finalizing everything, but we want to have a lot of fun with the menu, and we want it to be pretty interactive,” said Lewin, an employee-owner at the Grain Shed.

The cooperative started in 2018 as a three-way partnership between the bakery, brewery and Palouse Heritage, which raises and sells ancient and landrace grains.

The business made a name for itself specializing in loaves made from grains grown within 100 miles of the shop, where they’re milled on site and baked into bread in a custom-made wood-fired oven. The brewery also uses local grains that are malted locally.

Liberty Lake

All three enterprises will be located in a new development under construction by Jim Frank’s Greenstone Corp.

“The building is going up right now,” said Duffy, who will manage the Liberty Lake businesses as well as the Grain Shed. “I’m going back to my chef roots.”

But, he said, “it could be about a year out.”

The restaurant, La Grange, will be open for lunch and dinner. The menu is still being worked out.

“It’s going to be well-executed food with good ingredients,” said Duffy, who will serve as co-chef along with Peter Adams, former executive sous chef at the now-closed Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie in downtown Spokane.

After working as a personal chef, Adams joined the Grain Shed in summer 2022.

“Peter worked in France, so he’s got a good background in French cooking. I did French cooking, but I have Texas roots as well. The menu is going to be French by way of Texas,” Duffy said. “It’s going to be a take on both of our personalities. It’s also going to be super seasonal. We want it to be nice, but we don’t want it to be stuffy. We want it to be approachable and fun.”

To test out possible La Grange menu items, “We’re going to start Saturday dinners at the Grain Shed,” Duffy said.

The multi-course, ticketed dinners are slated to start in August.

Next year, other local and regional restaurants could soon be featuring Grain Shed loaves.

“We get a lot of requests from other Spokane restaurants and markets,” Duffy said. “But we’re very limited with what we can do. We’re not really set up for wholesale. Our mill is designed just to service what we need.”

So he’s planning to set up a larger, regional wholesale business and milling operation featuring a horizontal, high-tech, French-stone mill in partnership with Portland bread-baker Bram Yoffie.

“It’s much larger than what we have at the Grain Shed,” Duffy said, noting, “We’ll also have a sifting and bagging facility, and we will be able to do extraction flours. We’ll be shipping our flours regularly.”

Like the Grain Shed, the wholesale operation will mill landrace grains such as Turkey Red hard red winter wheat, Sonora soft white winter wheat and Rouge de Bordeaux as well as ancient grains such as spelt, einkorn and emmer. It will also offer a special house blend.

Patrons – as in, nonwholesale customers – might be able to come by in the morning and purchase coffee and pastries. A small commissary is a possibility, Duffy said. If that comes to fruition, unlike at Locos, “You can definitely come in and buy bread.”

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