12005 E. Trent
The Handle Bar is a world that revolves around booze, bikes and babes. In the morning you'll catch a crowd eating an early morning breakfast before they head off to work. By lunch, they'll be back, covered head-to-toe in grease, ready to dive into a homemade burger. Patrons will thumb through their stapled paper menu, leaving it stained but perfectly readable.
The Handle Bar isn't out to impress with the presentation of its menu – the Spokane Valley bar and restaurant would rather spend its time pleasing guests with its food. With a long list of breakfast, lunch and dinner items, there's something for everyone.
At night, when the drinks start flowing, the bar comes alive. It's a spacious room with pool tables and a projector screen that covers a wall from floor to ceiling, sparing only a centimeter, if that. Once the snow melts and summer rolls around, a back patio area is set to give guests even more room to hang out and enjoy a drink.
After a fire in November 2012 destroyed the original location on Appleway Avenue, erasing the endless hours spent remodeling it, The Handle Bar reopened at the current location on Trent Avenue. When the restaurant was damaged in the fire, so was Hell Yeah Cycles, the motorcycle shop attached. Naturally, the bikes came along to the new location.
The Handle Bar is covered in orange and black and frequented by motorcycle aficionados, but you'll be perfectly welcome even if you don't own a Harley. The goal here is to create a great atmosphere for all. A friendly, passionate staff is one way the restaurant achieves this goal.
Despite the setback, The Handle Bar seems to be doing just fine. It's far from a dive bar, but the unique combination of bikes, beer and food results in a biker bar with a splash of class that is open to all. Whether you're in need of a motorcycle repair, lunch or just a good time, The Handle Bar has got you covered
14819 N. Newport Hwy.
The Newport Highway traffic roars by outside, but inside there's a subtle buzz of the afternoon crowd talking over their plates of pad Thai and curries.
The little red building in north Mead has housed a few different food places: an Italian restaurant, a donut shop and more recently the Mercury Grill. But for about a year, Maw Phin has been at that location serving up Thai food.
Diners are greeted with a plate of crab rangoon — dumplings that are externally crispy and internally juicy — when they sit down. The menu is chock-full of traditional Thai dishes, such as stir-fries, noodles and rice, curries and the ever-popular pad Thai.
They also serve house specialties like pad woon sen ($11.95), which features stir-fried bean thread noodles, shrimp, carrots, eggs, celery, onions, broccoli and bean sprouts, as well as pineapple curry ($9.95) made with coconut milk, carrots and jasmine rice.
We tried the drunken noodles ($10.95), which came out as a steaming hot heap of stir-fried flat, wide rice noodles mixed with pork (you can also choose chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu), bamboo shoots, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms and onions, topped with Thai basil leaves. Suggestion: Pair it with a glass of their sweet-but-not-too-sweet Thai iced tea ($2.50).
Owner Robert Zornes previously worked in construction, but switched to the restaurant business, using what he learned from his family, who had been in the business. "When I was young I was always around it," he says.
Zornes opened Maw Phin for his wife, who is Thai, and brought in chef Nicky Fair to run the kitchen. Fair has cooked at other area restaurants, including Grandma Jai's Excellent Thai in Airway Heights and Linnie's Thai Cuisine in downtown Spokane, and his sister owns A Taste of Thai on Hastings Road.
"People come from Airway Heights, the Valley and Newport once they find out he's cooking," Zornes says.