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Swilly's, a Pullman classic, reopens in a new spot

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Swilly's has reopened in the BellTower building in Pullman.
  • Swilly's has reopened in the BellTower building in Pullman.

Swilly's, a popular upscale restaurant in the Pullman community since the 1980s, reopened at the end of September after a nine-month closure to relocate and revamp.

The transcontinental bistro returns with the same owners, the mother-and-daughter team of Joan and Liza Swensen, but with a new home on the ground floor of the BellTower, a renovated historic church and event center just a short walk through downtown from the old building. The new location offers ample outdoor seating, with fans and movable heaters to allow for comfortable outdoor dining almost year-round.

The location of Swilly's is not the only change — the restaurant, which previously offered only beer and wine, brought in two bar managers, John Leonardson and Norm Embry, to create a craft cocktail menu with creative creations, handmade small-batch barrel cocktails and classic drinks.

"They have worked really hard on the cocktail program," says general manager Liza Swensen. "They see making cocktails as an art."

Expect changes to the food menu as well, with a limited bar menu available all day, including items such as a Kobe beef burger with port-marinated onions and a bleu cheese spread. Specials may include vegetarian items for "Meatless Monday."

"The menu will be smaller than before, with some of the old items, more seasonal rotations and more small plates," says executive chef Joan Swensen.

The hours are also changing. Swilly's is open Monday through Saturday at 11:30 am for lunch and 5 pm for dinner. The bar will stay open all day while the dining room closes to get ready for dinner service. The bar is open until midnight for those looking for a nightcap or a late-night indulgence. ♦

Swilly's Pony Bar & Bistro • 125 SE Spring St., Pullman • Mon-Sat, 11:30 am-midnight • swillys.com • 334-3395