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Hot Rod Dog opens on Tacoma Ave

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Feb. 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm | 3 Comments »
March 1, 2010 4:40 pm

Pictured here is Tom Irick at the original Hot Rod Dog location on Pacific Avenue. The restaurant opened in 2005. A new Hot Rod Dog opened on Tacoma Avenue yesterday. Staff photo.

A second Hot Rod Dog opened yesterday at 1103 Tacoma Ave. S. And in about a month, the owners of Hot Rod Dog will have one more restaurant to add to their collection – the SideBar Bistro. Its owners say the legal-themed bistro will cater to the nearby courthouse employees at the County-City Building.

The menu at the Tacoma Avenue Hot Rod Dog nearly duplicates the menu of the original restaurant, which JoAnna and Tom Irick opened on lower Pacific Avenue in March 2005. It’s small, like its sister restaurant, with about 500 square feet. The menu features locally sourced brats and sausages from Puyallup’s Blue Max Sausage; and all-beef and veggie dogs are offered, too. Like the other location, the condiment bar comes fully stocked with toppings. Fans of the restaurant’s popular chili dog need not worry, they’ve got that, too. The only thing that won’t be on the menu there are the taco and garden salads. And that’s only because the Iricks will open a bistro next door that will serve a wide selection of salads, as well as soups and sandwiches.

It’ll be about a month or maybe longer before the SideBar Bistro opens, depending on permits. It’s a space that will offer service from morning to evening – coffee and light breakfast items in the morning, sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch and a small menu of bistro items for dinner. Wine and beer will be served.

“It will have a small bar, about 12 feet long. But it has beautiful lighting. The ceilings are 14 feet tall, compared to the Old Kelly’s, which was a very dark cave,” said Tom Irick six months ago when I talked to him while he was in the much earlier stages of planning SideBar, which will be located in the Samuel Robertson building that formerly housed Kelly’s Restaurant. I spoke with JoAnna Irick yesterday about the new space, and she described an incredible view. “We’ve had a lot of time to think about our décor. The colors and the lighting and the view of the mountains turned out awesome,” she said.

JoAnna is head chef and menu designer at SideBar Bistro. She’s still settling on a solid menu, but for the dinner menu, she’s thinking of a few pasta dishes, a hearty Bratwurst dish and maybe meatloaf. She’ll work out the details in the next month while the couple prepare for the opening of SideBar.

Early on, the couple toyed with a more upscale, higher priced gourmet concept restaurant, but scratched that in favor of a more affordable approach. “We’re trying to keep everything as wallet friendly as possible,” said JoAnna. “We’ll make it good value for your money.”

Watch here for more news as the opening date nears.

Hot Rod Dog
Where: 1103 Tacoma Ave. S
Phone: 253-572-DOGS (3647)
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
Pacific Hot Rod Dog: 1742 Pacific Ave.; 253-593-6030

SideBar Bistro
Where: 1101 Tacoma Ave. S.
Phone: None yet, they’ll get one soon
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (approximate; hours still being determined)
Opening: In about a month

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