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Tag: Lincoln dining district Tacoma

March
28th

Exploring Lincoln: How did all those Vietnamese restaurants sprout up in that Tacoma neighborhood?

This view of South 38th Street near Yakima in February of 1941 shows the newly completed paving of the busy roadway. Better known now in the 21st century as an area filled with Asian markets and restaurants, in 1941 it held a variety of businesses to suit the Lincoln neighborhood. The 38th St. Grill and soda fountain was located on the right, at 3801 Yakima Ave. So., directly across the street from the Model Bakery (in shadow). An Arctic Bottling Co. truck is doubleparked outside the 38th St. Grill to make a delivery of sodas. Reardon's Golden Pig restaurant in the Harry Todd Block, 775-77 So. 38th, is on the left side of the street with the Independent Cleaners, 771 So. 38th St., next door. Quality Upholstery & Shade, 767-69 So. 38th, is further down the street as are the Clowers Furs and Dory Cafe. There were apparently no traffic lights at the corner. Cars, bicycles and pedestrians had to cross with caution. Photo courtesy of the Northwest Room/Richards Studio Collection, Tacoma Public Library, 253-292-2001, search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/images
This view of South 38th Street near Yakima in February of 1941 shows the newly completed paving of the busy roadway. Better known now in the 21st century as an area filled with Asian markets and restaurants, in 1941 it held a variety of businesses to suit the Lincoln neighborhood. The 38th St. Grill and soda fountain was located on the right, at 3801 Yakima Ave. So., directly across the street from the Model Bakery (in shadow). An Arctic Bottling Co. truck is doubleparked outside the 38th St. Grill to make a delivery of sodas. Reardon’s Golden Pig restaurant in the Harry Todd Block, 775-77 So. 38th, is on the left side of the street with the Independent Cleaners, 771 So. 38th St., next door. Quality Upholstery & Shade, 767-69 So. 38th, is further down the street as are the Clowers Furs and Dory Cafe. There were apparently no traffic lights at the corner. Cars, bicycles and pedestrians had to cross with caution. Photo courtesy of the Northwest Room/Richards Studio Collection, Tacoma Public Library, 253-292-2001, search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/images

Two decades before Vietnamese restaurants started sporting suburban addresses, the Lincoln neighborhood around South 38th and Yakima streets introduced Tacoma to Southeast Asian cuisine. In this link, you’ll find snapshot reviews of the Vietnamese and other restaurants in the neighborhood surrounding Lincoln High School (east of Tacoma Mall). But, first, here’s a look at how all those restaurants wound up in a single neighborhood.

In the early 1980s, East Asia Market anchored the neighborhood. Some trace the creation of the Vietnamese eating district to owner Andy Chang and his family, who opened the first version of the Vietnamese grocery store in 1981. The market imported ingredients shoppers previously could not access outside Seattle’s International District. With the introduction of those ingredients and a growing influx of Vietnamese immigrants, the Vietnamese dining district followed. East Asia Market changed locations once before adding “Super” to its name, expanding its inventory, and moving to the former Red Apple Market space just beyond a three-block span that holds a concentration of Vietnamese restaurants like no other in the region. Read more »