We noticed something important during the Live It Up! event put on by the City of Spokane a few weeks back. On the second day, the organizers moved the artists who were previously confined indoors out to the sidewalk. That simple move made a profound difference in the vibrancy of the area. This is largely due to the fact that people enjoy public places where interaction with others is possible. What better use for the sidewalk? How often have you heard people speaking fondly of a place because it has, "good people watching?" It's what people do in urban places.
With that theme in mind, we took camera in hand the other day to identify a few of the better sidewalk eating venues we like in Downtown Spokane.
Tops on our list downtown has to be Mizuna. Their use of the sidewalk to the front of the building and the alley to the north cannot be beat in our opinion (although O'Daughertys is a close second). Plus they have live music during those warm summer nights.
Outside of downtown, what would summer be without dinner on the patio of The Elk? Even Pacific Ave. Pizza and Cabin Coffee have gotten into the act. Cafe Marron doesn't have much room, so instead large garage doors open up to the street. Excellent.
An incremental step to even more vibrant downtowns and neighborhood business districts would be to begin making better use of our most overabundant urban feature.
Some photos of other outdoor venues...