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Businesses coming to Spokane due to booming economy

Growth is drawing in businesses from Seattle to Spokane.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane is growing on many fronts. The growth is drawing in businesses from Seattle to the area.

Flatstick Pub is one example of a company expanding its business in Spokane. Flatstick Pub's unique mini-golf course and extensive selection of local craft beer have made it a popular hangout spot with locals. Dan Largent is the General Manager of Flatstick Pub. He says Spokane was the perfect place to expand.

"We're from Spokane. My two brothers, who are business owners, started the business in Seattle. But instantly, we always knew we wanted to open a location here," Largent said.

Once this space became available, they knew they had to set up shop in Downtown Spokane.

"So definitely, this one has taken on kind of a life of its own and just kind of transformed," Largent said.

Previously the pub used to be a Macy's department store. Gary Ballew is the Vice President of Economic Development for Greater Spokane. He says as Spokane goes through a renaissance phase, the transformation will be everywhere.

"So we've had this growth. Certainly, we've seen that in the housing market, we've had a lot of people come into the area, the community is growing, the community is thriving," Ballew said. "We look at Flatstick in Downtown Spokane. There's a certain energy and vibe there that they're looking to get and that they feel that they can replicate from their success over in the Seattle region."

"We're not the only one who came from Seattle, which is awesome," Largent said.

Fredy Zavala is living the American dream.

"I just started this business three years ago, in Kent, Washington," Zavala said. "I was selling this food on the street."

Zavala has taken his street taco and is now selling them out of four brick-and-mortar locations. Like Flatstick, Zavala is also expanding his business Birieria Tijuana from the Seattle area to Spokane. He's transforming a Vietnamese restaurant into a taqueria.

"I see a customer from there, they move over here," Zavala said. "So they know my food, or some customer from here, they go over there, and they know my food. So I'm so happy because I can see a lot of happy faces, then I'm coming here."

Both businesses say Spokane provides the perfect environment to expand their businesses. Ballew explains that strong business models and the ability to adapt during the pandemic have helped these businesses venture out of their comfort zone. He adds that the factors driving businesses to the area are it's appealing geographically, Spokane is growing on all fronts, and a strong workforce is in place.

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