If you look closely inside Westwood Brewing in Rathdrum, you’ll still see remnants of a fire that could have leveled the building. Instead, it stands tall today and is where you’ll find one of the more unique menus in the area.
The building that is now home to a thriving restaurant—named in honor of the original town name—was built in 1887, and at times housed a bank and a hardware store. When the building came up for sale, brothers Spencer and Shaun Howell and their wives Danielle and Jenny saw a place to build their dream.
“We all instantly fell in love with the building from first sight,” says Danielle. “The arched windows, rustic brickwork and mountain views are stunning. Once inside, the historic bar, old bank vault and woodwork had so much character.”
While renovating a 130-year-old building presents unique challenges, the Howells were able to get their restaurant and bar up and running in less than a year, and it’s living history and signature dishes have fast made it a local favorite.
“Each wall and piece of décor has some sort of focal point or historical aspect. We love visiting with our patrons and sharing the building and town history,” says Danielle.
While creating a relaxed and historic atmosphere to their restaurant was paramount, the Howells knew that providing high-quality dishes at reasonable prices would be key to seeing sustained success. As self-described foodies, they expected quality when they went out to eat before opening Westwood Brewing. This means you’ll find only prime, choice and certified Angus meats, many of which are smoked in house. Salad dressings, dips and sauces are also all made from scratch, and each includes a unique twist to classic recipes.
For starters, try the Smoked Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese Egg Roll, topped with chipotle aioli sauce and green onion and served with house barbecue sauce. If you like a potato stuffed to the gills, the Westwood Potato is smothered with cheddar ale sauce and jicama corn relish, topped with smoked pulled pork, pickled jalapeños and cotija cheese and garnished with bacon crumbles, sour cream and cilantro.
Burgers each weigh in at a half pound and are served with everything from brown whisky sauce and ghost-pepper aioli to a burger that’s fully submerged in the deep fryer. Salmon, cod and certified aged Angus steaks and prime rib are mainstays on the dinner menu.
The bar includes 16 rotating and regional drafts that include seasonal offerings, a cider and something on silky smooth nitro. With a name like Westwood Brewing it was only a matter of time until namesake beers would be appearing as well. The Howells have been working with a local brewery on custom beers that will be featured this summer and only available at Westwood. They also hope to have their own micro system up and running in the fall and pouring house-made ales shortly thereafter.
“We want to restore and expose every historic and unique aspect of the building, so this had taken longer than expected. However, the plans are moving along nicely, and we cannot wait to unveil the brewery on site,” Danielle says.
Westwood Brewing is relaxed and casual, filled with living history, and the meal is one you won’t soon forget.
Westwood Brewing Co.
8162 W. Main St.