Native American comfort food restaurant Indigenous Eats opening in August
June 3, 2022 Updated Fri., June 3, 2022 at 10:20 a.m.
A restaurant that serves Native American comfort food is coming to the Logan Neighborhood this summer.
Jenny Slagle and her husband, Andrew, are planning in August to open Indigenous Eats in a 1,900-square-foot space formerly occupied by Bruchi’s Cheesesteaks & Subs at 829 E. Boone Ave., Suite E.
“We thought, ‘What a great opportunity to have some representation of our food, culture and music,’” Jenny Slagle said of the restaurant.
The restaurant’s menu will feature fry bread, Indian tacos and desserts served with huckleberry sauce, among other items. The fry bread – a flat dough bread fried in oil – will be prepared using a recipe by Slagle’s mother.
“As we are open a little bit longer, we will be offering seasonal stews and soups,” Slagle said.
Ingredients for the restaurant’s fare will be sourced from locally owned Native American businesses, Slagle added.
Slagle is a member of the Yakama Nation and descendant of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. She was raised on the Yakama Reservation before moving to Spokane more than 21 years ago.
Slagle also owns Tmíyu Consulting, a firm that focuses on tribal relationship building, training and program management.
Slagle has fond memories of her mother making fry bread for meals and family gatherings.
While growing up, Slagle’s mother and five aunts held friendly fry-bread cooking competitions, she recalls.
“Regardless of who made it, those who got to eat it were the winners,” Slagle said.
The Slagles’ idea to open a restaurant was initially sparked by their involvement in the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, an annual event held at Riverfront Park to celebrate Native American arts and culture.
For several years, the Slagles, with help from their four kids, operated an Indian taco stand at the event. Jenny Slagle’s mother prepared the fry bread sold at the stand.
When the Slagles traveled to Denver in 2018, they dined at Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery and it further jumpstarted their idea for a restaurant with a similar concept.
“It just was a really interesting concept and from there, we had it in our mind, ‘Why isn’t this everywhere else?’” Slagle said.
The Slagles began the planning process for the restaurant last year and looked at several potential locations before finding the former Bruchi’s space, which is easily accessible from I-90 and Gonzaga University, Slagle said.
They obtained financing for the restaurant via Craft3, a community development financial institution headquartered in Oregon with an office in Spokane, and a grant from the Empire Health Community Advocacy Fund.
“Everything felt like it came together in the last year,” Slagle said.
Slagle aims for Indigenous Eats to be more than a dining experience for patrons. The restaurant will feature Native American music and artwork by local artists.
“There will be different types of exhibits or posters allowing people to learn about modern-day Native Americans, especially here in our region,” Slagle said.
Indigenous Eats is slated to open in August, following minor construction work, including drywall installation and painting, Slagle said.
“We really want it to be a gathering space,” she said.
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