Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rest Stops and Community

My buddy Jon, at Outthere Monthly, recently introduced me to a great little bar on Sprague. It's the Checkboard. It closes at 9PM. It's got a pool table, some nice old booths, a nice set of stools and generally feels like a place that hasn't changed much in 50 years or so. It's tended by a sweet elderly lady and what I assume is her husband. It's got good cheap beer and no fussy stuff. Jon's comment on the bar when I last had a beer with him there, was something like, "in any other city this would be filled with hipsters..." Maybe so. I like the quiet crowd of older locals that have typically been in there when I've visited.
After a meeting that ended at noon yesterday, I took a ride out to Hairy Gary's to pick up a light and check up on a rack he's building for me. Last year, I discovered the Yardly Bar and Grill, which is about a 1/2 block away from Gary's. The Yardly is squarely in the middle of an industrial neighborhood and tucked away on a quiet corner surrounded by dirt lots and big hunks of metal. By 2pm on Fridays, it's nearly full with the workers from the area pouring in to celebrate the weekend. It's got the best fish and chips in town by such a long shot. I found out yesterday though that you must ask for the "panko" version to get the best. Otherwise, you get good enough.
After a huge lunch of fish and chips and a pint of Kokanee, I figured a visit to the Checkerboard was in order on the way home.
I like stopping for beers at interesting places as I tool around the city. Mostly, I stop for the community and camaraderie. My favorites are Benedittos and the Baby Bar. But going to other parts of town and finding small local places like the Yardley and Checkerboard is a great way to discover the micro-communities in Spokane.


Anonymous said...

commenting on an old post, I know... but check out The Swamp on 5th near Brown's Addition. Good beer selection with a dingy tavern feel. The only sign for it is a giant yellow "Beer" sign.

John Speare said...

It's never too late to point out interesting bars. I made my first (well, first in the last 10 years or so) visit to the Swamp at an FBC ride last month.

It's a great bar. And they encouraged us to bring the bikes in the back courtyard.

Great spot. I'll be going there more when I can drink beer again.