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Boathouse 19: Coming to the Narrows Marina this summer

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on April 23, 2012 at 10:08 am | No Comments »
April 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Construction at Boathouse 19 took the building down to the studs. The new waterfront restaurant is expected to open in July 2012. Photo courtesy of the Lobster Shop

The name has been selected – and it’s Boathouse 19. That’s the previously nameless waterfront restaurant I told you about in February in this blog post. The 230-seat restaurant will open at the Narrows Marina, located near Day Island, down the hill from South 19th and Bridgeport. The casual waterfront restaurant serving regional American cuisine is the project of Denny Driscoll, a man who has made his living from opening his Lobster Shop restaurants in unexpected waterfront locations. And he’s doing it again with Boathouse 19 at the Narrows Marina, a place that’s not exactly known as a restaurant destination.

Said Lobster Shop Executive Chef Tom Small by email on Friday, “We have finally decided on a name for the new restaurant and I wanted you to be the first to know… We are calling it, ‘Boathouse 19.’ The nineteen references 19th street and Boathouse conveys the feel of the location and restaurant.” Small described the project as “moving fast.”

The opening date is planned for July 2012, so long as permitting moves forward as planned. The approximately 4,500-square-foot restaurant will seat about 160 in the dining room and another 75 on the deck.

Driscoll described the concept as a casual restaurant friendly to drop-in boaters. Think burgers and sandwiches with upscale leanings and fun regional spins. For boaters, there will be moorage and a nearby fueling station. The decor will be rustic and outfitted with wood, with a boathouse feel. Wood will be milled from old pickling barrels that were used at the former Nalley plant.

Tom Small, who serves as the corporate chef for both Lobster Shop restaurants and Tanglewood Grill, which Driscoll also owns, said the Narrows restaurant will have a menu in an affordable price range. He expects sandwiches to be priced $8-$12 and dinner entrees to top out at less than $20. Small, a chef with a long resume who moved to Tacoma from California in 2008 to open Cafe Bistro in Nordstrom at Tacoma Mall, described the menu in detail:

Serving: Lunch and dinner. The menu will stay the same throughout the day, Small said.
Theme: “We’re focusing on regional American food with a waterfront emphasis. We’ll do the greatest hits of comfort American food. We’ll have a blue plate special. Sandwiches we’ll serve on cutting boards with tin-can holders to hold fries. The culinary world is going back to its roots and getting comfortable again, it’s going to be scratch-made food.” He added, “A little playful, casual and fun with the traditions of the regions around the country.” Menu items will draw from the South, the Midwest and East Coast, as well as the Northwest.
Sandwiches: House-made corned beef, po’ boys, American backyard-style burgers, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, Monte Cristos.
Entrees: Scratch-fried chicken with fresh-cut fries, blackened rock fish with Cajun rice and Southern slaw remoulade, ribeye steak with barbecue French fries.
Desserts: Cupcakes, banana splits, warm apple pie.
Soda fountain: “We’ll make our own ice creams and syrups for sodas and custom sodas with a soda fountain. Milkshakes. Those kinds of things.” They’ll also serve lemonade, sweet tea and handmade drinks.

Boathouse 19
Where: 9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma (Narrows Marina, just past the intersection of South 19th and Bridgeport)
Opening: July 2012 (projected)

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