Most cross-town rivalries are limited to high school sports, more notably high school football and basketball teams. With kids growing up knowing that playing “the guys” from the other side of the tracks is the biggest moment in most of those young individuals lives and would be talked about for decades to come as they continue on reminiscing in coffee shops and at backyard barbeques with friends old and new.
Well, just like in many other things, Spokane shatters this mold to pieces. Spokane’s historic South Hill vs. the continuously developing North Side have been feuding for years. I am not just talking about the North side’s Mead High School Vs. the South side’s Ferris High School or Spokane’s Newest High School; Mt. Spokane Vs. Spokane’s First High School; Lewis and Clark High School.
It all goes much deeper than that. In 1908 the original Spokane Country Club on the South Hill burned to the ground. In 1910 the club rebuilt on the edge of the Little Spokane River on Spokane’s North side. In 1917 the South Hill built a country club of their own at Hart Field known today as Manito Golf and Country Club. The two country clubs are represented by some of Spokane’s finest and most prestigious individuals and every year still to this day they do a Country Club exchange and are mutual guests on occasion at each other’s clubs. The rivalry is often times a friendly rivalry that ends in dinner parties and backyard barbeques, prodding at one another and joking about their differences… The conservatives from the North bringing dinner dishes on paper plates wrapped in tin foil and the more liberal and creative Southies bringing decadent dishes lavishly prepared and presented on gold trays with glass covers.
Dining and shopping is another unique difference between the two sides. The North side features more big box stores such as Target, Shopko, Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart, where the Southies prefer to shop at a boutique like South Hill Hardware, Ferrantes, The Fringe, and Title Nine. All very small, locally owned stores catering in unique items for a direct and customized clientele. Dining follows this same trend. The South Hill features an abundance of small, fine dining restaurants, unique pubs and quaint coffee shops. Whereas the North side displays more uniformity and consistency in it’s dining with Division street being in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most restaurants on it than any other street. The restaurants however are predominantly fast food restaurants, “grab n’ go” coffee stands and corporate chains like Red Robin. Bringing ease and convenience as an utmost importance to the North Side.
Even the real estate is vastly different. The North side is filled with larger, newer homes, PUDs and larger lot sizes where as the South Hill is predominately placed on smaller lots with historic turn or the century craftsman’s and old money mansions. All driving very similar and comparable values in today’s economy.
All and all, Spokane has a little something for everyone and as far as where you would like to be, it all breaks down to who you are and what’s important to you because no matter what… You will find it here!