A Passion for Culinary
We're a team of food aficionados
When asked, Chef John just says “I like to try different things by experimenting with odd combinations”. This modest statement disguises his deep passion for quality ingredients, trying new things, and most importantly, introducing his guests to new experiences through his menu.
Most seasoned culinarians will tell you, its harder to improvise and “just throw things together”, rather than follow a simple recipe. A chef has to possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of flavors, how they compliment each other, and the subtle nuances they lend to various dishes. While some of Chef John’s creativity may seem unorthodox or puzzling to some, patrons at the Palouse Bar & Grill have learned to taste first, judge after.
Chef John’s unique approach to combining flavors and turning tried-and-true food dishes on their head earned the Palouse Bar & Grill its first award; winner of the Gastropub category at the 2017 Restaurant Wars competition in late September.
The Palouse Bar & Grill was chosen as both the popular vote by attendees and the unanimous choice of the judges. As a result, Chef John is known as “the people’s chef” by his team.
The Fresh Sheet accompaniment to the regular lunch/dinner menu at the Palouse Bar & Grill is where Chef John’s creativity shines through. Hard-to-find ingredients, limited-availability cheeses, some of the freshest seafood, supreme cuts of beef and other items all get showcased; changing every 2 weeks. The Fresh Sheet also includes wine pairings to compliment this uniquely styled cuisine.
We never think any idea is too off-the-wall when it comes to food. Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time; a random tv show, phone conversation, (or text) could spur the next unique menu item here at the Palouse Bar & Grill!
Our Creative Team
John M. NiehenkeEXECUTIVE CHEF
Originally from Colfax, Washington, John Niehenke prides himself on creating as many of his menu items from scratch as possible. Niehenke continually challenges himself to create traditional items “with a twist”; comfort foods can take on a whole new meaning.
Having spent much of his culinary career in the Boise, Idaho area, Chef John also is credited with revamping food & beverage operations during his 5-year tenure at the Black Pearl Casino & Poker Room in Spokane Valley.
Another native of Spokane’s South Hill, Ethan Croucher is a graduate of Ferris High School. A skilled tradesman, Ethan’s background encompasses welding and industrial materials.
Along with fellow family members, his unique skill set, and countless hours of labor, Ethan transformed the former Anthony’s Beach House Café into the Palouse Bar & Grill. Every surface, paint color, texture and the overall layout was the vision of the Croucher Family.
The culmination of these efforts resulted in the creation of a neighborhood hangout spot, and a one-of-a-kind setting for our guests.