TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Restaurant changes

Aug.
28th

Coming soon: Vegan restaurant Viva Tacoma will open in Proctor

These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Fransisco Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Francisco “Paco” Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. These enchiladas will be on the menu of a new restaurant from Hernandez called Viva Tacoma. That restaurant will open soon in the Proctor neighborhood. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The Proctor neighborhood soon will be gaining a vegan restaurant. Viva Tacoma plans to open at 2602 N. Proctor as soon as final inspections are completed. UPDATE 9/2/2014: The restaurant is now open.

The restaurant might be new, but the chef is someone South Sound vegan and raw diners will recognize. Francisco “Paco” Hernandez most recently was the chef of AmeRAWcan Bistro, a raw-vegan restaurant that operated in the St. Helens neighborhood from August 2011 until May 2014 when owner Darrin London closed the restaurant to focus on another business. Read more »

Aug.
21st

Coming to the Lincoln neighborhood: Chinese noodle house Hue Ky Mi Gia

Pictured here is the storefront of Hue Ky Mi Gia at Kent's Great Wall Shopping Mall. I snapped the photo last month while eating my way through the mall, which is home to a wide range of Asian restaurants, including the region's best dim sum restaurant - Imperial Seafood Garden.
Pictured here is the storefront of Hue Ky Mi Gia at Kent’s Great Wall Shopping Mall. I snapped the photo last month while eating my way through the mall, which is home to a wide range of Asian restaurants, including the region’s best dim sum restaurant – Imperial Seafood Garden.

Noodle slurpers – you’re going to want to read this. The Lincoln neighborhood is getting a Chinese noodle house in September.

This will be the third location for Seattle-based Hue Ky Mi Gia, which is named after owner Huy Tat’s Chinese-born grandfather, who decades ago operated a noodle cart in Vietnam. Read more »

Aug.
15th

Now open: Primo Grill in Tacoma makes its big move

Moving an 8-year-old biga — a fermented dough starter — across Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue was like walking a kid across a busy intersection. The caregivers moved carefully and hoped nobody lost their footing at the wrong moment.

For years, that biga has been a bubbling mass of yeasty dough, a continually fed entity living in the walk-in refrigerator at Primo Grill, which opened on Sixth Avenue in 1999.

The restaurant’s owners — husband-wife duo Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner — joke that the biga’s practically become a staff member. Its job is to form the base of Primo’s pizza dough,

Read more »

Aug.
11th

Coming to Sixth Avenue: Original Pancake House

A plate of Georgia pecan pancakes from Original Pancake House in South Hill. The restaurant is opening an outpost on Sixth Avenue in Primo Grill's former home.
A plate of Georgia pecan pancakes from Original Pancake House in South Hill. The restaurant is opening an outpost on Sixth Avenue in Primo Grill’s former home.

Primo Grill’s old home on Sixth Avenue will have a much different smell wafting from it – pancakes, instead of wood-fired pizza. A restaurant that is micro focused on breakfast – and only breakfast – is slated to become the next tenant at Sixth and Pine Streets. Read more »

Aug.
7th

Primo Grill on the move: TCC art students create vibrant mural for its new home

One panel of five that will comprise a 30-foot mural inside the new home of Primo Grill, which reopens Friday.
A pieced together rendering of the 30-foot mural on display inside the new home of Primo Grill, which reopens Friday. Photo courtesy TCC.

When Primo Grill reopens Friday at its new home at Sixth and Oakes, diners will find a restaurant more muted than its former life at Sixth and Pine.

Reclaimed wood and exposed brick form the palette. The motif is what owners Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner described as their take on “modern Northwest design.”

But it wouldn’t be Primo without a spark of colorful artwork, right? Playing against that muted backdrop of the restaurant’s surfaces will be a vibrant swirl of color – a five-panel mural over the bar spanning 30 feet, topping a wall lined with brick.

Those five panels depict a distinctly South Sound scene, and also relay a longtime partnership between the Tacoma restaurant and student artists from Tacoma Community College. Those students spent about a year researching and painting the mural. Read more »

July
25th

New on Sixth: Hawaiian food, Carolina pulled pork, an ice cream cafe and two restaurant moves

Co-owners, Angela Hernandez, left, and Gloria Gentry hold up a dish of southern fried chicken wings at Southern Exposure on Sixth Avenue. The restaurant opened in May and is one of several new restaurants in Tacoma's Sixth Avenue restaurant district. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer
Co-owners, Angela Hernandez, left, and Gloria Gentry hold up a dish of southern fried chicken wings at Southern Exposure on Sixth Avenue. The restaurant opened in May and is one of several new restaurants in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue restaurant district. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Handmade pasta baked in a wood-fire oven.

Experimental vegetarian fare served alongside roasted bone marrow.

Argentinian steak paired with South American wines.

East Coast deli sandwiches.

And plenty of craft beer.

If you want it, Sixth Avenue’s got it.

Now add these to Sixth: lavender ice cream, a loco moco plate, Carolina pulled pork and Oklahoma burgers.

This is the summer for movement on Sixth Avenue — Tacoma’s most varied restaurant neighborhood — with four openings and two restaurant moves along a 2-mile stretch from Stevens to Steele streets.

So far this summer, Sixth Avenue has gained a Hawaiian plate lunch restaurant, a Southern restaurant with Carolina roots, an ice cream cafe and a pop-up restaurant operating out of a bar.

Next up is a big move for Primo Grill. That longtime Sixth Avenue anchor and respected chef-owned restaurant closes at Sixth and Pine on Saturday, with a planned reopening Aug. 8 a few blocks away at Sixth and Oakes. Another restaurant on the move this summer was The Red Hot, Tacoma’s go-to tavern for craft beer and gourmet hot dogs.

And then there’s this news: Hilltop Kitchen owners Chris Keil and Matthew Schweitzer are purchasing Sixth Avenue’s Marrow, the upscale restaurant with a dual purpose menu for vegetarians and meat-eaters opened by Jaime Kay Jones, Jason Jones and Kyle Wnuk in 2011.
Read on. Read more »

July
9th

Hilltop Kitchen owners purchase Marrow

Those kids at Hilltop Kitchen were up to something, I just knew it. Here’s the scoop: Hilltop Kitchen co-owners Chris Keil and Matthew Schweitzer have announced they are buying Marrow from Jaime Kay Jones and Kyle Wnuk, who opened their 50-seat Sixth Avenue restaurant in August 2011. Keil and Schweitzer will work with Wnuk and Jones through this month, with the intention of taking over by the end of July. Here’s the release from Chris Keil. I’ll have more details soon. Read more »