To Go Box: Craft cocktails take over a former dive bar; Killer Burger comes to North Idaho

click to enlarge Fine dining spot Gander & Ryegrass is expanding its reach with a new craft cocktail bar called June & Co. - YOUNG KWAK

Young Kwak

Fine dining spot Gander & Ryegrass is expanding its reach with a new craft cocktail bar called June & Co.

June & Co. is Spokane’s newest little night spot, taking over the former home of the Riff dive bar at 215 W. Main Ave.

A project from Peter Froese, chef and owner of the creative fine dining destination Gander & Ryegrass, June & Co. is located just two blocks east of the restaurant and is slated to open in late November or early December, pending the completion of renovations.

“In short, we’re kind of keeping along the same lines of the Riff, so we’ll keep the dive bar sense, but we’re definitely putting a lot of work into cleaning it up,” Froese says. “We’re going to call it a ‘fancy’ dive bar. Imagine the cousin of what we do inside the restaurant at the bar, just much, much smaller.”

Starting out, Froese plans for June & Co. to operate daily from 4 pm to midnight. He’s still debating how much food to serve there, considering the challenges such a small space (about 300 square feet) creates.

“We will have some sort of snacks, probably fairly simple at least to start, and it’ll be a number of things we do at the restaurant anyway, like smoked nuts, Italian pretzel bites, olives and a handful of things,” Froese says.

June & Co.’s craft cocktail and drink menu will be similar to what’s offered at Gander & Ryegrass, which boasts a super-experienced bartending team. “We have some really fantastic bartenders who can do most of this stuff in their sleep,” Froese says. “The other part is it will have a really nice patio out back,” which he plans to operate year-round. (CHEY SCOTT)

If the question is best burger, everyone has their faves. Former Coeur d’Alene local and restaurant franchisee Wes Walterman’s is Killer Burger, a Portland export with 16 locations across the Pacific Northwest. Walterman and his wife recently opened Killer Burger’s first Idaho location in Hayden’s Prairie Shopping Center, moving into a spot that last was Junior’s Barbecue.

Look for classic burgers plus unusual flavor combos like peanut butter, pickles and bacon ($12.15) and the Red Molly with Philly cheesesteak and brined red peppers ($14.15). Bacon is included on all burgers — yes, you read that correctly, bacon fans — as are a side of fries. You can upsize (add $2.50), downsize (subtract $2) or customize your burger with substitutions like a gluten free bun ($1). Beverages include craft beer and hard cider, and there’s a kids’ menu. Visit (CARRIE SCOZZARO)

Just north of the Division Street “Y” in North Spokane there’s a new sushi spot tucked away in a generic strip mall. After opening in July, Avocado Roll Sushi Bar (9423 N. Division St.) quickly had diners buzzing on social media about its extensive menu.

Of course, many traditional rolls that sushi lovers know and favor are front and center, but Avocado Roll’s appetizers offer some fun twists on classics. The “heart attack” appetizer ($7) features four spicy tuna-stuffed jalapeños deep-fried in tempura batter and drizzled with spicy sauce; an apt name for such a fiery dish.

If you’re looking for more heat, the “popcorn” lobster fried roll ($15.77) boasts unique flavor by topping a traditional California roll with the bold flavor combo of jalapeño, cilantro, fried crawfish and a spicy mayo eel sauce. If you’re a sucker for the classics, don’t worry — the shrimp tempura roll ($11) has got your back, and the spicy tuna roll ($9) is there to remind you that the classics aren’t boring, and that they’re called classics for a reason. (MADISON PEARSON)

To Go Box is the Inlander’s regular dining news column, offering tasty tidbits and updates on the region’s food and drink scene. Send tips and updates to [email protected].

Article Source: Inlander