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Visiting One of Spokane’s Oldest Neighborhoods

Been to Hillyard lately? If you haven’t, you’re missing out.

Not that I’m judging. Until last year, I didn’t even know that Hillyard existed. Apparently, I’m still a Spokane newbie. When I heard about a live jazz show at a place called The Bad Seed in Hillyard, I asked my husband, “Where’s that?”

(East of downtown and north of the river – in case you didn’t already know.)

I’ve since learned that Hillyard has a reputation as one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. But it also has a fascinating history and some darn cool architecture too.

The Bad Seed itself is a great example.

The Bad Seed

This Tex-Mex restaurant and bar lives in the former Hillyard Public Library, a space that served the community for over 50 years. The Bad Seed balances a hip, eclectic atmosphere with the historical integrity of the 1929 brick building.

In a lighthearted nod to the building’s “storied” past, there are vintage books on the built-in shelf over the entry and – I believe – a set of encyclopedias below the beer taps. Although, based on the paintings in the bar area, the space isn’t quite as family friendly as it was in its former life.

With its tasty street tacos and solid room acoustics, The Bad Seed is the perfect spot to enjoy live music. There’s jazz on the second and fourth Monday of every month, starting at 7 p.m.*

I’ve been there. And trust me, you won’t want to miss that either.


*To find out who’s playing, visit Imagine Jazz Spokane.



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