Eater broke the news in January that San Diego-based Top Chef contestant Chad White would be returning to his native Spokane to open a restaurant called Native Post & Provisions. That plan is still in the conceptual phase, as White hasn't found the right location yet.
Meanwhile, he's planning to open a ceviche bar called Zona Blanca in "a small nook" attached to The Steel Barrel tap room in downtown Spokane, at 154 S Madison Street. The Steel Barrel, which is currently being built out, will operate as an "incubator brewery," a shared brewhouse where brewers can experiment without the costs and risks of launching a full brewery. Zona Blanca, which is scheduled to open in May, will have a view of the attached brewery.
Zona Blanca will consist of a counter service raw bar specializing in the coastal flavors of Mexico. It's a familiar palate for White, who also owns La Justina restaurant in Tijuana.
"Our primary offerings are a selection of inspired ceviches from different coastal regions in Mexico such as Baja, Sinaloa, Jalisco, The Yucatan, and Guerrero," White says. Also expect "Other street snacks such as Carne Seca marinated in lime, chiles and cilantro, chicharrones with hot sauce and a Chorizo Torta to help feed the appetites of those who have not yet developed their sea legs."
White says he's been impressed with the up-and-coming chefs he's discovered after moving home to Spokane four months ago. But he feels the city "still lacks in its offering of ethnic food establishments and with Zona Blanca I intend to help feed the appetite of those looking for just that," he says. "I plan to continue to collaborate and will be inviting my friends from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest for small ceviche take over nights as well as collaborating with local chefs from different culinary backgrounds to help broaden the strokes of this city's culinary identity."