The next chapter for Raci Erdem’s family of restaurants is underway By Jillian Chandler | Photo By Owen Aird Photography
Over the years, Turkey-native Raci Erdem has made a name for himself here in the Inland Northwest. Since 1996, he has been dedicated to bringing an unforgettable dining experience to those who take a seat at The White House Grill in Post Falls.
Featuring a menu inspired by Mediterranean flavors, combined with his personal flare—and a lot of garlic—diners have continuously shown their support to Raci, his restaurant and the staff.
Just down the street is where Raci opened his second restaurant, The Oval Office & Martini Bar, in 2007. For more than a decade, diners were treated to this cozy, romantic small-seat eatery, where they have been given the opportunity to appreciate Northwest-inspired flavors with the small-plate and entrée offerings, paired with the one-of-a-kind martinis.
In 2021, the restaurant was torn down and is being completely rebuilt from the ground up. “It was time for that building to go away,” laughs Raci. “It was really old, and I didn’t want my reputation to go down with the building. It was time.” It is set to reopen sometime between November 2022 and February 2023.
According to Raci, many of his loyal Oval Office customers were disappointed when they first heard the news and the fact they could no longer dine or imbibe at one of the area’s most beloved bistros—for the time being, of course. “But I tell them … just go to The Pentagon!” he smiles.
The Pentagon Bistro & Martini Bar in Liberty Lake is the third restaurant in Raci’s family of restaurants. Opened in November of 2019, the warm and inviting yet sophisticated space showcases an open-kitchen concept, a large bar and two cozy dining rooms. Offering a menu similar to that of The Oval Office, with its delicious and diverse small-plate menu, as well as entrée featuring steak and seafood, and their specialty politically inspired martinis, it’s open and ready to serve customers seven days a week for both lunch and dinner—especially those wanting a taste of The Oval Office while it's under construction.
Raci is looking forward to the next chapter of The Oval Office and excited to share what he says will be “a healthier restaurant” with the community, featuring a state-of-the-art kitchen, a bit more seating (around 60 seats versus the previous 40) and a much larger bar for guests to gather. “It will be much improved,” he says, adding that there will now be three restrooms versus just the one it previously had. He has hired local builder Rob Harsh to take on the project. “We built The White House together, and it was a fun project, so he was the first one I called!” Guests will still be able to enjoy dining outdoors on the spacious outdoor patio.
And there’s more exciting news, as Raci is adding an additional restaurant next door to The Oval Office—El Presidente. With a focus on tequila and tacos, guests can expect to be treated to the authentic flavors of Mexico, right here in North Idaho. The quaint 30- to 35-seat restaurant will also feature an outdoor bar and patio seating. “It’s going to be pretty cool,” he affirms.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a meal in Post Falls at The White House Grill, or at The Pentagon Bistro & Martini Bar in Liberty Lake, Raci ensures a delicious meal, exceptional service and a good time. And prepare for the re-opening of The Oval Office and the new El Presidente!
The White House Grill 712 N. Spokane St. Post Falls, ID 208.777.9672
Pentagon Bistro & Martini Bar 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane Liberty Lake, WA 509.891.7790