Fresh Soul Renovation

Renovated restaurant serves
community pride.

This gem of a restaurant in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood offers much more than southern-style soul cuisine.  It also serves as a life-skills and job-training program for youth ages 14-18.

The vision to transform this shuttered ice creamery into a restaurant that provides training and employment opportunities for local teenagers engaged in private and public support well beyond the immediate geographic area.  Led by the Spokane Eastside Reunion Association, the nonprofit organization that owns the restaurant, the collaborative effort resulted in a vibrant, popular gathering place that is a beacon for neighborhood growth and renewal.

Renovation of the single-story concrete-block building focused on creating an efficient layout that provides the optimal ratio of kitchen-dining space and accommodates the necessary restaurant equipment.  Capitalizing on the central location of the 1954 structure, the building opens to the neighborhood via large glass windows along 5th Avenue and Fiske Street, and a walk-up service window facing the adjacent sidewalk.  Side-yard patio seating invites patrons to dine al fresco.  New landscaping softens the adjacent hardscape.

Bright color selections promote energy and impart optimism and hope in the surrounding urban environment.  The entire east façade is adorned with a full-wall mural designed by a local artist in coordination with Spokane Arts and painted by Gonzaga University students and neighborhood residents.

Highlights of the project that demonstrate quality urban design include:

  • reuse, renovation, and rehabilitation
  • supporting community/neighborhood needs
  • centralized location with public transit
  • innovative and sustainable design solutions

Specifications

  • Client: Spokane Eastside Reunion Association
  • Location: Spokane, Washington
  • Size: 1,575 square feet
  • Completed: 2016