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the Gold Standard since 1978.


Pioneering Gourmet Burgers & Brew in Spokane

Our journey began in 1978, marking the birth of Spokane’s very first gourmet burger. With a whopping 44 unique and exotic burgers on our debut menu, we didn’t just serve meals; we created culinary sensations. While our menu has evolved over the years, our unwavering dedication to sourcing only the finest ingredients and crafting them with care and expertise remains our hallmark. Every dish is a testament to our trained chefs’ passion and commitment to excellence.

From Farm to Your Fork

Our ethos is simple: local, sustainable, and fresh. We’re passionate about bringing the bounty of the farm directly to your table. Every dish we serve is crafted from scratch, daily, ensuring that what you taste is the pinnacle of freshness. From the deep waters of Alaska, we source only the finest cod, halibut, and wild salmon. Our burgers boast 100% local beef, and the breads that envelop them are the handiwork of local artisans.

Our dedication doesn’t stop there. We roast whole barons of beef and fresh turkeys in our kitchens every day. And those crispy, giant steak fries you love? They’re handpicked by our owners and chefs from over 80 tons of Ranger Russet potatoes during harvest season. Cooked to perfection in heart-healthy, 100% non-hydrogenated soybean oil, we ensure that trans-fatty oils never touch our fryers.

Safety and quality go hand in hand. Our Chefs and General Managers proudly hold Serve Safe Certifications, surpassing federal nutritional safety standards. And if you have specific dietary requirements, we’re all ears.

Beyond the plate, our commitment extends to the environment. We’re conscious stewards of our planet, adopting low-voltage, eco-friendly lighting and conserving water diligently. Our packaging choices are made with the Earth in mind, and we continually strive to source sustainable products.

At the heart of all we do, it’s you and your family. Your feedback is our compass, guiding us to serve you better. Thank you for choosing us to be a part of your day. We eagerly await your next visit.

The Downtown Onion:
A Glimpse into Our Rich History

Nestled in a building that dates back to 1907, The Downtown Onion stands where the grand St. Regis Hotel once did. In its heyday, Main Street was the beating heart of the town, and the intersection of Bernard and Riverside was its crown jewel. The St. Regis was an epitome of luxury, second only to the globally renowned Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

Fast forward to the space that now houses The Onion’s bar. It began its journey as a pharmacy, serving the community until 1958. That year marked W. G. Cassis’s entry, who introduced the stunning back bar and unveiled the Union Tavern. Ownership changed hands from Cassis to Bob Gillespie in 1966, and then to Larry Brown in 1974.

Adjacent to this, where patrons now enjoy their meals in The Onion’s dining room, the Petrus family ran the Ideal Shoe Store. A legacy in its own right, the store’s origins trace back to 1918 when Albert’s father operated it across the street. They moved to the current building in 1934 and remained a neighborhood staple until Albert Petrus’s passing in 1977.

But what’s the story behind the majestic back bar?

This oak masterpiece, crafted by the Brunswick Corporation in 1904, is steeped in history. Originally part of a lavish set, it journeyed from Chicago to the West before 1910. While most of its counterparts found a home in the Montana Bar in Miles City, Montana, our cherished bar graced Spokane in 1910, becoming a centerpiece in the Court Saloon near the Spokane County Courthouse.

Post-prohibition, the Levitch family, the bar’s owners, collaborated with W. G. Cassis to relocate it to the Union Tavern and Hotel. Cassis managed the Union Tavern on Trent from 1934 to 1958 before moving the bar to where The Onion stands today. After a series of ownership transitions, Larry Brown took the reins in 1978, introducing Spokane to its first gourmet burgers and brew spot. And as they say, the rest is a delicious slice of history!

The Motorcycles:
A Testament to Life’s Journey

Downtown Onion, 302 W. Riverside

Glistening under the lights is a meticulously restored 1937 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a proud addition during The Onion’s 1998 renovation. This vintage beauty hails from the collection of Robert E. Smith of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Larry Brown, with a passion for preserving history, had it rejuvenated under the expert guidance of “Lucky” Lawrence from Lawrence’s Vintage Restorations, also based in Coeur d’Alene. Not just a showpiece, this motorcycle was fully operational when it entered Lawrence’s workshop.

North Spokane Onion, 7522 N. Division (Established 1984)

Another 1937 Harley graces this location, discovered in Canada in 2002 by Ken Belisle. It too was in running condition when it was proudly showcased at the North Division Onion in 2003.

Why Motorcycles in a Dining Setting?

For many riders worldwide, there’s a deeply held belief: “Life is about the journey, not the destination. Savor each moment!” These vintage motorcycles, displayed prominently, serve as a poignant reminder of this philosophy. As you dine, they stand as symbols urging us to cherish every moment, especially those shared with loved ones.

A bit about the bikes: Both are Model UL, boasting a 74 cubic inch (1200cc) V Twin engine, cast iron “flathead” heads, and unique off-the-handle shifters. In their time, only 2,861 of these bikes were crafted, each carrying a base price tag of $395.00. This intriguing insight is generously shared by Larry Brown and Ken Belisle.

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Copyright 2024 @ The Onion, Spokane Washington. Landmark Restaurants. All rights reserved.


Copyright 2023 @ The Onion, Spokane Washington. Landmark Restaurants. All rights reserved.