For the biggest selection of whiskey this side of the mountains, head to Purgatory Craft Beer and Whiskey Bar, newly opened in downtown Spokane at 524 West Main Avenue inside the historic Bennett Block building.
Inside you’ll find a lighted whiskey wall that stretches 20 feet high – complete with a rolling ladder – with over 500 whiskeys and counting. (Their goal is to get to 600!)
“Every person who comes in takes pictures of the wall because it’s such an eye-opening attraction,” shared General Manager Cole Cameron.
With such a fantastic selection, it’s no surprise that one of their most popular offerings is a create-your-own flight, which allows you to choose your own adventure on the whiskey wall.
“You can just go to town and really discover and try new things,” said Cameron.
Purgatory also offers eight rotating craft beers, cocktails, and wine by the glass and bottle.
But they’re more than just a place to get a shot and a beer. They’ve created a full experience around whiskey and delicious food.
A fun twist on burgers, their number-one seller is the Purgatory Elk Burger, featuring ground elk, pickles, tomato, onion, lettuce, jack cheese, beer mustard and mayonnaise on a brioche bun.
For appetizers, customers are crazy for their pretzel sticks with IPA cheese sauce made in house. Described as “so soft and fluffy and salty,” they’re a great shareable snack … or something to keep all for yourself!
Owner Kevin Cox has created a very woodsy, welcoming feel inside the bar. All the tables are made from trees that he chopped down on his property in Kettle Falls, and permeating throughout is a smoked-flavor aroma, courtesy of their in-house smoked prime rib and brisket, along with their enticing “Up in Smoke” Old Fashioned cocktails.
“It’s a pretty warm and cozy atmosphere. I think people are really attracted to that,” shared Cameron.
This is the second Purgatory Craft Beer and Whiskey Bar for Cox, a native of Colville, Washington. He opened his first location in 2017 in Tracy, California, but always wanted a location closer to home.
The empty space next door to the old Rocky Rococo was perfect, as it’s right in the mix of all the best that downtown has to offer. They’re just a block away from Riverfront Park and two blocks away from the First Interstate Center for the Arts, making them an ideal spot for people to grab dinner and cocktails before or after a show. For those who work downtown, they’re a quick place for a tasty lunch.
Since opening in late October, they’ve already created a loyal customer base. The feedback they’re hearing most is how fantastic the food is, how friendly the staff is, and how great the price points are on the flights.
In addition to repeat customers, they’ve been encouraged by all the downtown restaurateur owners who have come in to say hi, chat about what’s on the wall, and have dinner and drinks.
It’s not a competition between the downtown bars. “We all offer something unique, and that makes it great for Spokane and the people here,” Cameron explained. “They can go to multiple restaurants in any given week and have a completely different experience.”
Purgatory Craft Beer and Whiskey Bar is open Sunday–Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
“If you’re not a huge whiskey person or you’re just trying to get into it, this is a great place to learn and understand what whiskey is all about,” said Cameron.