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New eats in the Stadium neighborhood: An old school (and high style) burger joint and an art cafe

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | No Comments »
October 10, 2012 9:11 am
The window coverings were removed over the weekend, giving Tacoma its first glimpe of Shake Shake Shake, which will serve roadside stand style burgers, fries and shakes.

Shake, Shake, Shake – a stylish retro burger joint – is coming to the Stadium neighborhood. The paper that has obscured the windows for months came down over the weekend and those who attended the art and wine walk got a first glimpse of the interior that’s high on retro style. The color scheme is aqua blue set against electric orange. An oversized sign that reads “Eat” is a visual anchor in a small dining room that will seat about 40. On the menu will be roadside stand style burgers, along with hot dogs, fries and shakes – something like what Shake Shack does. Shake Shake Shake will be at the corner of North Tacoma Avenue and North Second.

Across the street are more paper-covered windows – and it will be several months before that paper will come down. 

The paper should come off the windows of the Art House Cafe sometime this winter.

Expected to open sometime this winter is the Art House Cafe – a restaurant from the owners of Open Arts Studio – Lucy and John Armstrong, who opened their Stadium neighborhood arts academy in 1996. Open Arts Studio covers broad territory – from the performing to visual arts, with classes for children, teens and adults. The Armstrongs intend to treat the cafe as an extension of their arts school – they’ll give hands-on culinary classes in the kitchen downstairs. Upstairs, the cafe will be a full-service restaurant. They’ve hired a chef who they’re not naming just yet, but expect to see a cafe that operates from morning to evening serving a menu that owner Lucy Armstrong described as “scratch American” (those two words sure are delightful when combined). In the morning, there will be pastries and coffee, pizza and salads at lunch and dinner service, too. “Everything will be fresh baked,” said Lucy of the artisan breads they intend to serve. Be still my bread loving heart – a specialty bakery and cafe is exactly what that neighborhood needs. Opening the cafe is taking longer than expected because permitting is complicated in such an old building. They expect to be open sometime in the winter, probably not before the end of the year, but Armstrong said she’ll keep TNT Diner readers posted.

An oversized sign is a striking visual anchor in the dining room.

Shake Shake Shake
Where: 124 N. Tacoma Ave. (corner of North Tacoma Avenue and North Second Streets, where the Stadium Corner mini mart once operated)
Opening: I’ll keep you posted when I find out.
The food: Solidly under $5 for burgers. They’ll serve hot dogs, too. Fries and shakes round out the menu

Art House Cafe
Where: 111 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma (in the space that formerly housed the Healing Garden Tea Room)
Opening: This winter, but probably not before the end of the year. I’ll keep you posted.
Menu: Scratch American producing a menu from breakfast through dinner with fresh-baked artisan breads.

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