Stockwell’s Chill & Grill is a restaurant, bar, and family dining establishment on North Argonne in Millwood. Ryan Stockton and Jade Cardwell discovered their ideal location and signed a lease on the building in February of 2020. After remodeling, they found themselves right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, unfortunately, kept them from opening their doors. The partners decided to stick it out and make the lease payments until allowed to open on January 28th, 2021.
Ryan and Jade are former West Valley High School buddies. Jade has a restaurant background, managing several in the Spokane area. And Ryan has taken on the business and financial management of the company.
A Unique Spot in Millwood
Stockwell’s has a unique footprint. The upstairs portion is their bar and restaurant for adults, while the downstairs is devoted to being a family restaurant with an arcade and games for the kids. In the warmer seasons, customers can eat and converse at one of nine tables on the patio outside.
What makes Stockwell’s stand out? Ryan explained: “We’ve acquired a loyal following of locals to come here just to hang out with us and enjoy a very comfortable atmosphere. Nothing is threatening about the place. You know, it’s not like one of those establishments that you walk into wondering if you will get pushed to the side and not noticed. Our staff is very friendly. They’ll greet you as soon as you walk in and will always be there to help and make sure your experience is exceptional.”
Outstanding Food & Drinks
And what about the food? Stockwells is famous for its Millwood Cheeseburgers. It’s a double-pattied “smash burger” cooked on the flattop. The chef forms 100% ground beef into giant meatballs and then smashes these on the grill for each burger. Ryan thinks using pre-formed patties causes the meat to lose some flavor qualities. Also, he likes to chop up the burger accompaniments (like lettuce, tomato, and pickles) before placing them in the bun. This step makes the burger easier to eat, and you’ll get the full flavor with each bite!
Other popular food items include their French dip sandwich (a happy hour favorite!) and the carne asada tacos.
Stockwell’s has two signature drinks that are especially popular in the summer. The S.S. Breezy is made with lemon vodka, orange & pineapple juices, raspberry seltzer, and grenadine syrup. And another called Strawberry Shortcake, made with Bacardi Dragonberry Rum, has real strawberry shortcake on the top.
Fun Weekly Events
Ryan and Jade have created some fun weekly events for their neighborhood hangout. They have karaoke singing on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Friday night is trivia night. And they host country swing dance lessons on Wednesday evenings on the lower level before the karaoke begins upstairs. All these events attract friendly crowds, both to participate and to watch.
I asked Ryan how they promote their new restaurant. First, they have an excellent, user-friendly website that shows images of their popular dishes. They frequently post on Facebook about coming events, along with mouth-watering shots of plated food and drinks. Their presence on Google has earned them high reviews (good local SEO). And they have coupon specials on the back of receipts at the local Safeway store.
Experience With the Valley Chamber
Ryan’s business participated in the Valley Chamber’s Shop The Valley TV ad campaign before the Holidays in 2021. His customers mentioned seeing him on TV.Ryan exclaimed, “I’d do it again in an instant if they ever asked me to!”
Stockwell’s hosts Valley Chamber Network meetings on the first and third Thursday of each month. The owners appreciate introducing chamber members to their establishment and getting to know the local business community better. Through the chamber meetings, Ryan even met their country swing dance teacher, Dusty Wetzler with LiteFeet.
The Summer Bash
Stockwell’s sponsors a rather unusual but fun event yearly to celebrate the beginning of summer – The Summer Bash. They bring in a classic rock band from Coeur d’Alene called The Rub. The first year, the band played on the grounds outside. It attracted a lively crowd and was a huge hit. Then last June, the band played on their bar & restaurant roof! Neighbors could hear the music from a mile away. And no neighborhood complaints or cops were showing up – just an awesome party and celebration of summer.This year, they’re planning to have the band play from the back of a firetruck.
Ryan and Jade are proud of what they’ve accomplished by making Stockwell’s a community gathering place. Ryan added, “We wanted to put the restaurant in West Valley because that’s our area. That’s where we were born and raised. So we wanted to keep it rolling here and bring some more liveliness to Millwood. “.
Stockwell’s has indeed added flair and fun to the local West Valley scene.
Find out more about what’s cookin’ at Stockwell’s here.