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Downtown Spokane bar Zola reopens, brings back live music performances

The popular downtown Spokane destination has been closed since March 16, 2020, though owners Steve and Kim Combs did attempt to reopen in November 2020.

SPOKANE, Wash. — With Spokane County in Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee's reopening plan, more local businesses have reopened their doors and the popular downtown bar Zola joined them on Wednesday night. 

Steve and Kim Combs have owned Zola for the past seven years, but the bar has been closed since March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the statewide restrictions made in response.

The Combs made it clear they were excited to reopen their doors at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

"We're excited to open. All of our employees are coming back, our kitchen staff, everybody's very excited to get back to work. [We're] excited to see the community, excited to see our regulars," Kim said.

The reopening is also good for the local live music industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic. Zola was known in part for its regular live music performances, and Wednesday night is no different, as the band Runaway Lemonade will be playing.

"[They're] so excited to have a place to come back to, and we're just going to try to get them all a chance and get them all back playing again," Kim said.

The Combs said they are concerned about the possibility of reopening and then having to close again, and the changes that would come with the repeated closure.

"The worry of reopening and then having to close again, I think that's the biggest concern. Trying to be ready for more takeout versus, we're used to eating in. And just having everybody feel safe enough to come out," Kim said.

Zola is open from 4 p.m. until close Tuesday through Saturday. Current Phase 3 guidelines state that bars and restaurants can offer alcohol service until midnight.