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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top 8 restaurant chains that Spokane wants

Recently I took to the Inland Northwest Business Watch social media pages and the Spokane sub-reddit with a question. That question was what restaurant chain would you want to see come to Spokane?

Below is what we found. And, to explain why I asked, it was to get people talking and while most are the same places I hear all the time some we're kind of a surprise.

8. Texas Roadhouse

This one surprised me a bit as there is already a location in Coeur d' Alene. But, it's true Spokane has none and the Coeur d' Alene location is usually packed.

I've heard on and off for the last few years of possible plans for a Texas Roadhouse location in Spokane nothing has come to fruition. From what one commenter mentioned is since the Coeur d' Alene store is so successful they don't want to put in Spokane to take away from the sales in CdA. I can't say if that's true or not, but it is probably a factor,

Texas Roadhouse is a Louisville,KY based chain ( shouldn't they be based in Texas? ) and founded 25 years ago in Indiana, with around 500 locations in the United States and some Asian / Middle Eastern countries.

For more information on Texas Roadhouse, check out-

7. Bojangles Famous Chicken n' Biscuits

Bojangles is about as Southern fried chicken of a restaurant as you can get out of a chain establishment. The North Carolina based restaurant chain has been in business since 1977 and today is a publicly traded company with over 600 restaurants.

So, will Bojangles ever come to Spokane? Well probably not very soon as their current closest store is in Tennessee. In fact over half of their locations are within the state of North Carolina, but they are building a bit of cult following nationally so never say never.

For more information on Bojangles Famous Chicken n' Biscuits , check out- 

6. Dunkin Donuts

Probably because of Starbucks' huge market share in the Northwest, our area is one of the few spots in the country that doesn't have a Dunkin Donuts. I'm told there was one in Spokane a long time ago but they have all since moved on.

The Canton,MA based chain is known for it's coffee drinks ( often cheaper then the other chain's ) and donuts. Although they have been experimenting with dropping the donuts portion of their name lately. Dunkin Donuts was founded in 1950 and today has over 11000 stores worldwide.

Their parent company , Dunkin' Brands also operates the Baskin Robbins ice cream shop chain, which does have locations in the Spokane / Coeur d' Alene area. But, will Dunkin Donuts ever come to Spokane? It could happen as they are still in growth mode but there are no plans as of right now.

For more information on Dunkin Donuts, check out-

5. Dave & Busters

When Northtown Mall underwent their remodel of the north side of the mall a couple of years ago a lot of people thought a Dave & Busters would surely open there as they created some new restaurant spaces. Sadly that was not the case as today Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings are in those spaces.

But, could Dave & Busters come to Spokane? The very well could as they just opened a location in Anchorage  and are already open for business in Auburn,Wa. . I'm not sure exactly what is holding them back from coming to Spokane.

Dave & Busters is a Dallas based chain lead by CEO Steven King ( not that Steven King... ) . They are a publicly traded company with over 100 locations almost all in the United States a couple in Canada. Their stores are sports bars that a sort of an adult version of Chuck E. Cheese. They are the corporate sponsor of the UFC and have been in business since the early 80's

For more information on Dave & Busters, check out-

4. NONE!

Many who I asked said Spokane doesn't need any more chain restaurants. And, while I support local businesses first and encourage people to do so, chains aren't going anywhere anytime soon and do employ many in our community.

So, all I can say to do this one is after reading this post do some research into local alternatives to the chains. Check out D Lish's, Chicken-n-Mo or DeLeon's  as they are all great local options and there are so many more.

3. In n' Out Burger

Founded in 1948 the Irvine,CA based fast food burger chain has grown a lot in recent years, but still in a not to fast pace. Today, most of their 329 locations are still in California and Nevada although they have grown towards us opening a location in Medford,OR not too long ago.

In n' Out's menu consists of three burger variety's hamburger, cheeseburger and " double double " . Burgers can come with thousand island dressing and don't forget to try out getting your burger " animal style ". There is also sides, shakes and more.

So, will In n' Out Burger come to Spokane? I'm going to say yes but give it at least a couple more years probably more. And, don't believe the rumors...

For more information on In n' Out Burger, visit-

2. Cheesecake Factory

Rumors have swirled around many locations that a Cheesecake Factory would open at in Spokane. That's because the chain has had locations as close as Western Washington for several years now. So will Cheesecake Factory come to Spokane? it's likely they will sometime but there are no plans as of yet.

Cheesecake Factory is a Calabasas Hills,CA based company that has been in business since the late 70's. As the name would imply they are famous for cheesecakes and desserts but in reality are full services restaurants with burgers, steaks, pasta and more, including alcoholic drinks.

For more information on Cheesecake Factory, check out-

1. Chick-fil-a

Many in Spokane apparently want to live by Chick-fil-a's motto " eat more chicken " . The chain has over 2200 locations and is based in Atlanta,GA . The company started in Georgia in the mid 1940's by a different name and today has locations all over the country, except here in Spokane.

They have however been hit by controversy from some stances they have taken due to the founders religious beliefs, because of this Chick-fil-a restaurants are closed on Sundays.

So will Chick-fil-a ever come to Spokane? it's likely it will happen someday but there are no plans right now. A rumor swirled after the developer of the purposed Commons on Regal development showed a building plan with a blurred version of the Chick-fil-a logo on it. That has turned out to be false but I do think the chain has looked at for sites here.

It's also important to note that Chick-fil-a actually already has a location in our region. There is a lesser known location on the campus of the University of Idaho in Moscow. Still a drive but for die hard fans...

For more information on Chick-fil-a , check out-