Spokane’s hidden treasure: The Sprague Union District
Guest Post by: Eryn Whalen
When I was asked this Spring to tour the area with a few other local ladies, I was ready and excited to see how the Sprague Union District, from the Hamilton Street Bridge to a little bit east of Freya Street, has bloomed into what some are saying is now a “must visit” spot in the city.
Wide streets, crosswalks, planters, and bright lampposts greet those who drive through. It’s quaint, pretty, and welcoming. The mix of old building and new construction gives the area so much character. The district feels alive and the excitement is tangible in the shop owners’ voices as they share about their businesses and stories of making a life as a Sprague business owner.
Many owners are second or third generation, and the pride and history behind their shops are book worthy. They have struggled, seen success, and are excited for this revamp of the area to bring new visitors through their doors.
Heather, the owner of the Tin Roof, invited us over to tour the businesses. You can easily sense the heart she has for everyone who’s doors are open along the streets. She wants people to see and know the variety of businesses that can help with almost any need you have. Realtor, printer, photographer, automotive, antique shops, art, furniture galore, dinning, you name it, Sprague probably has it.
We walked in a little group from place to place, and as we entered each location the owners greeted us with kind smiles and an appreciation for our presence. Construction was tough on their little community. They are more than happy for it to be over, and to reintroduce us all to the new and improved Sprague Union District.
Dana, owner of Creative Catch Studio, waves her hand and encourages us to come inside. She has such a convenient little photo studio all set up with props and backdrops galore. She’s also schooled in her craft because 15 minutes later we all have in our hands the cutest little photo magnets of us girls in funny hats, laughing and smiling.
Further down the sidewalk is Two Women’s Vintage Goods. Their two-story brick building smells like fresh coffee and some other floral loveliness as we enter. What is it about an espresso machine at work that instantly soothes? A little spot with pretty tables is at my right, and a man with a computer is sipping his coffee and chatting on the phone. Not something you’d see in a regular antique shop. Beautiful things greet me as I stroll with coffee in hand. Can I just take home a whole section and set it up in my house?
Kayla Montee, another gal in our group comments as we walk from shop to shop that there are so many cute photo opportunities along the District. Old brick buildings, unique lighting, and different textures abound everywhere. Heather of the Tin Roof just installed the #tinroofhello wall and it is so darn cute! You’ve got to check it out. Instagram worthy for sure!
Speaking of the Tin Roof, if you haven’t been . . . well where have you been? So much inspiration for the dreamiest home you could imagine. I honestly love all the lighting Heather has. My entryway is begging for one of her fixtures, the 90’s chandelier needs to go! The Tin Roof is more than just a furniture store though, they have a whole staff of interior designers and stylists. You can also custom order most of the pieces to fit perfectly in your space. My mind goes crazy with ideas each time I walk in.
In just a few hours our little group of women take in beautiful art from Blue Moon Art Gallery, and also a quick lesson in acrylic pouring. (They do classes often) We visit birds, puppies, reptiles, bunnies, and snapping turtles at Northwest Seed and Pet, who also boasts an amazing garden section. We pop into the Union Tavern for a light lunch and talk with the owner who use to run Fast Eddies for over 25 years. As we walk, we passed the bar with the oldest liquor license in the state of Washington.
History abounds on the Sprague Union District. It’s a place that’s easy to visit often, because for most of the business owners, their products change weekly. Every trip is filled with new treasures. Blue Cat Vintage was completely different from our first drop-in last fall. The whole front room had a new layout and feel, the owners excited to share their latest finds.
Visiting Sprague is now an exciting adventure. You never know what treasure you’ll find, or what new memories you’ll make. You will have one constant though, each time you park your car along the street and walk into a business you’ll be greeted by some of the friendliest owners anywhere, who are determined to make sure your experience is perfect. Service and quality abound in the Sprague Union District, and I can’t wait to hear what you find on your next visit.