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Three cheers for Meconi’s and Vin Grotto for vision

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Now that the nightlife circuit in Tacoma is really starting to fill in as more and more bars and lounges take their seat here, a new lease on life is coming to establishments that have deserved our attention all along.

Meconi’s Pub and Eatery, and Vin Grotto Café and Wine Bar are two of those.

More feet are flocking to Pacific Avenue, especially now that Matador and Paddy Coyne’s have opened (Caper’s Downtown will open soon, and I hear rumors that a nightclub is going to emerge in the bottom floor of what used to be The Drake.) Along with that, staples such Meconi’s and Vin Grotto are being discovered and revisited all over again as two of the first brave businesses to occupy this once left-behind section of downtown.

Meconi’s is a beautiful, traditional, no-gimmicks neighborhood pub with brick walls, high ceilings, hard alcohol, and 16 great beers on tap — including two of my personal favorites, Stella and Blue Moon. The staff is laid back and friendly, and there’s rarely a prima donna amongst them or their customers. Meconi’s hosts a stellar happy hour crowd and its regulars love Taco Tuesday and the Wednesday fish and chips special. Meconi’s also serves pasta, fresh salmon, juicy burgers and subs. The good-time backroom is great for large groups and home to vintage game greats such as Zelda, Super Mario Brothers 3, pool, air hockey and darts.

Vin Grotto is an adorable wine bar that I love to sneak into for lunch, regular wine tastings, and the Thursday night jazz piano with Al Gord lighting up the ivories. The space includes one complete wall of international wines, and the comfy front room always seems to have candy that I like to rot my teeth on. The back room is where the magic and the bar are. As so many have reported before, the food at Vin Grotto is perfection. I’m addicted to the smoked turkey sandwich with mango chutney, bleu cheese and mayonnaise, served on ciabatta bread. I also dig on their cheese plate.

People yearning for a relaxed atmosphere will fall in love with both establishments. Life contains enough hustle and bustle, and I most recently ran into a group of homies at Meconi’s who agree that both hot spots are ideal, soothing hideouts.

So whether it’s high-steppin’ heels or hoodies, Meconi’s and Vin Grotto are the places to be, as far as my big brown eye can see.

[Meconi’s Pub & Eatery, 709 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.3388]

[Vin Grotto Café and Wine Bar, 813 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.722.5079]

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