Spokane's Garland District

A 1940s era movie theater anchors this charming neighborhood just north of downtown Spokane. The Garland District is as colorful as the theater’s marquee and filled with plenty of other quirky buildings and murals. It’s such a fun area, and it feels like you’re on a movie set. Indeed, it’s been the backdrop for several movies, Benny & Joon, VisionQuest, and Why Would I Lie?

North Hill on Garland

Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle

Eat & Drink

It’s a veritable smorgasbord of gastronomy in the Garland District. Start with Ferguson’s Cafe for an old-fashioned dining experience. You’ll be seated in the same space actor Matthew Modine sat in VisionQuest. Both the cafe and the movie are classics. Right next door is Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, true to form and aptly named. Go there for a patty melt and huckleberry milkshake, and you’ll be seated in the same space Johnny Depp sat in a scene from Benny & Joon.

You haven’t lived until you’ve had The Big Dill at the Garland Sandwich Shoppe. Who needs bread when you can slap sandwich innards between two giant pickle slices? North Hill on Garland feeds the conspiracy theorist. Located inside the old Masonic Lodge, the menu offers comfort food and craft cocktails. History lovers will enjoy taking a seat at The Brown Derby. It’s one of the oldest bars in the state of Washington and an incredible tavern. For the patio lovers, Drinkery has liquor, beer, and wine along with skee ball, darts, and pinball.

Play

The prominent place to start for fun is the Garland Theater. It’s a perfect example of Art Deco architecture and shows discounted movies. With Bon Bon attached, you don’t have to settle for prerequisite popcorn; you can elevate your experience with a cocktail and food. Catch a laugh at Blue Door Theatre, an improvisational comedy theatre.

If shopping is more to your liking, peruse the vinyl selection at Groove Merchants or look for vintage clothing at DYD (Drop Yer Drawers) or Zipperz.