A Prohibition-era speakeasy with a modern, sophisticated twist is coming to Northern Quest Resort & Casino.
Highball: A Modern Speakeasy is opening Monday near the entrance to Pend Oreille Pavilion.
The 4,700-square-foot lounge and nightclub will offer craft cocktails, delectable dishes and desserts, in addition to a rotating calendar of live music, DJs and entertainment.
“We knew that we wanted a venue that could act as a nightclub on the weekends because it’s an underserved need in the market,” said Sam Askew, executive director of resort operations at the casino.
When Askew joined Northern Quest in January, he examined the nightclub’s conceptual designs and envisioned the space as a speakeasy, he said.
“If Gatsby was alive in 2020, where would he go and hang out?,” Askew said. “So, the evolution went from being an elegant nightclub to ‘Let’s make it a speakeasy.’ Let’s give people something to enjoy throughout the week.”
Highball’s entryway features a one-of-a-kind, 1,300-pound antique gate, which was handcrafted in 1890 and acquired from a Philadelphia-based salvage company.
The gate was formerly installed at the Church Missions House, a historic Renaissance Revival building in New York City.
The venue’s design includes a hall of mirrors in its entryway, 42 chandeliers with Swarovski crystals hanging from the ceiling, high-top tables, custom-built booths by Kalispel Upholstery, a center bar, and a stage-and-dance area.
Spokane-based HDG architecture designed the venue. Lydig Construction, of Spokane Valley, was the general contractor.
Highball’s menu features a variety of appetizers to complement craft cocktails, champagne, wine and beer. Cocktails include a signature martini and “The Chandelier,” a French 75 drink with edible gold flakes.
Menu highlights are the bootleggers board for two with cured meats, chicken liver pate, aged cheeses and crackers; chicken à la king with braised chicken, cognac, mushrooms, red peppers, peas and puff pastry served in a Mason jar; and the huckleberry salmon lollipops made with Yuzu cream anglaise and huckleberry pistachio dust.
Some of the venue’s desserts include smoked bourbon chocolate brownie bites and petit fours, which are bite-sized cakes in various flavors, including brown butter madeleine, orange creamsicle shooter, devil’s food cake, tiramisu cream puff and lemon meringue tartlet.
Highball also serves peanut butter, huckleberry pie and birthday cake booze-optional milkshakes.
“Service is going to be small plates with nice, rich, decadent foods,” said Brendan Neeson, executive chef of Northern Quest.
Casino executives aim to feature local, regional and national talent on Highball’s stage.
“We want to mix it up. There will be jazz here, but we might have hip-hop in here one night or we might have a comedian. We might do spoken word,” Askew said.
“We want to be able to change it up. In terms of what to expect, expect the unexpected because we might even have a couple of national artists and not even tell you they are coming.”
Highball will be open Monday-Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, the venue’s operating hours will be 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Highball will also be open on the first and third Sundays of every month for brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“When you walk in here, see the chandeliers and the modern art, you know that it’s special,” Askew said. “I really want people to come out and experience it, and keep coming back because you never know what you’re going to get.”
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