In June, Terry Waller packed up her Olive Branch sandwich shop at the corner of South 12th and Proctor and headed for new digs in downtown Tacoma. She thought she’d be open by August. But she encountered what so many restaurant owners discover when building a restaurant where one previously didn’t exist – restaurant infrastructure is complicated and time consuming.
This week, she’s in the final stages of tending details, the latest of which has been electrical work on the old building. She intends to open her sandwich cafe and tea room in the next few weeks at 731 Commerce St.
I first wrote about Waller here when I visited local antique malls outfitted with sandwich and dessert cafes. At Waller’s charming 12th and Proctor space – with a kitchen the size of a shoebox – I found sandwiches with a homespun edge. She opened the Olive Branch in March 2012, pairing her business with a neighboring antiques business.
At her new home downtown, she’s decorated the space with her antique collection. She’ll also continue offering high tea – something that became popular with her regulars before she closed her cafe in June. Waller said she intends to keep a similar sandwich menu – I like the chicken pesto ($7.95) – and will make small changes to the menu over time as she expands her kitchen equipment. She plans to be open Tuesday-Friday, with private tea service on Saturdays. She intends to serve a traditional high tea, but will expand the tea offerings to different themes.
Olive Branch Cafe
Where: 731 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253-330-6511, Facebook here