Today we published an update on whether the City of Tacoma’s construction project on Stadium Way would affect McMenamins’ plans for renovating the Tacoma Elks.
Renee Rank Ignacio, spokeswoman for the Portland-based brewpub operator, told me the road project doesn’t change their plans but that construction might not begin until August because they’re buying the Elks annex. The annex was to have been demolished to make way for a new mixed-use building, but those plans fell through.
I confessed yesterday that I didn’t ask a blindingly obvious question of Ignacio after she gave the August estimation. How would that effect the Tacoma site’s opening date, which has been consistently pegged for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) next year?
Ignacio returned my call this afternoon and confirmed what logic dictates: The opening date will be about a year after construction begins. So if work begins in August, look for an August 2013 opening.
She cautions all of us to stay flexible on the dates.
“Those are all just tentative and they are all just guesses,” she said. “Nothing is set in stone but it’s an estimation.”
My friend and colleague Peter Callaghan talk about this project often. I tell him that I have no reason to believe the project isn’t a go — McMenamins owns the property. Mike McMenamin has said the financing (half equity, half private investment) is lined up. McMenamins has put in for permits — not an inexpensive step. People working closely on the project say it’s “rolling along fine.”
I tell Pete that I’ll believe it’s really happening when I see workers inside and equipment outside. He says he’ll believe it when he’s having a beer there. If and when that day comes, we’ll see former TNT columnist Dan Voelpel there with a few hundred of his loyal readers. (We’ll be on Dan’s tab. You could be on Dan’s tab. If he makes good on his offer, he probably won’t notice.)