The menu and concept are under wraps, but a new restaurant is coming to downtown Tacoma. Bon Temps will open at 1015 Pacific Ave.
The project is from Steve Anderson, owner of Maxwell’s Speakeasy + Lounge, a St. Helens neighborhood restaurant with a gorgeous dining room and sporting a new concept of high-end eats at affordable prices. When reached by phone, he confirmed the restaurant’s location, but declined to comment on the menu or concept. Tacoma Untapped reported that the restaurant will have a Cajun theme. That would be a stellar addition to not only downtown Tacoma dining, but to the region. With the exception of Parkland, Cajun themed restaurants are in short supply.
Parkland long was home to Cajun cooking for the South Sound region. For nearly a decade, From The Bayou, which operated steps from Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, was the restaurant with a cachet in authentic Louisiana cooking. But in 2007, owner Kevin Roy closed his quirky Garfield Street Cajun restaurant. The location briefly became another Louisiana-focused restaurant called Jambalaya, but it closed, too. Also in Parkland, Blandon Dillon opened his Creole Cafe in 1999, but his unexpected death in 2010 meant an end to the Louisiana dishes based on his family’s recipes.
The legacy of Cajun in Parkland continues today with Madea’s Cajun Cafe in Parkland. The restaurant opened last July in a corner location near the PLU campus. The cafe is owned by Keitha Okafor, a native of Oakdale, La. She operates it with her sister Mary Williams. In the South, “Madea” is a common nickname for a grandmother. Okafor’s “Madea” taught her to cook gumbo and sweet potato fries, banana pudding and pecan pralines. Her grandmother died a few years ago and the sisters thought it fitting to name the restaurant after their Madea.
Think of Madea’s as a simpler, casual lunch-counter version of the more polished, full-service From the Bayou and Creole Cafe. The food is rustic, earnest and casual, with an authentic whiff of Louisiana home cooking. Read my January 2012 review of Madea’s here.
As for Bon Temps, if I get more details, I’ll report them here and at the TNT Diner Facebook page.