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It's been a rough couple of years for the food business. The economy's still in the tank, and yet more and more restaurants are opening, creating more and more seats for diners willing to spend less and less. At heart we're optimists, and we still believe there's room for good guys to make good money cooking great food. We think that running a restaurant is tough, but it's doable if you follow this simple rule: Cook it (right) and they will come.
Let's take a look at recent changes in the South Sound restaurant scene.
Northern Pacific Coffee Company
Northern Pacific Coffee Company next to Pacific Lutheran University reopened Monday. Ed Cederas bought the former coffeehouse. He will concentrate more on beer, wine and sandwiches rather than push the coffeehouse concept. However, he's serving Valhalla Coffee AND Dillanos Coffee Roasters, as well as Mad Hat Tea - and the library is still in the corner.
"Our goal is not to leave Pierce County in terms of the goods we sell. We're all about going local," says Cedars.
Northern Pacific Coffee Company received its liquor license Wednesday afternoon. In celebration, a phone tree was instigated and 35 folks showed up for an impromptu open mic. The Wednesday open mic that used to grace the spot is back on. The Sunday morning Geriatric Jazz will also return soon. A Monday night record listening party, Tuesday brewer's night and Thursday-Saturday live music are right around the corner. They also sell records from neighboring Disc Connection on the front counter.
In the food department, NPCC serves nine paninis ($6.50) and five "Grab & Go" sandwiches ($4.50).
Big Wheel Steakhouse
Big Wheel Steakhouse next to the McChord Air Field has changed owners and will re-open May 14 as the Buck Wild Saloon. They will have Coyote Ugly-style dancing girls on the bar one or two nights a week, a mechanical bull, pool tables, pull tabs and food eating contests like garbage can lid nachos. They will have ladies night, industry night, and other themed evenings, too.
The Grill at Meadow Park
The Grill at Meadow Park Golf Course was scheduled to reopen April 1. It didn't. The guys in the pro shop were more concerned about handicaps and didn't have any information on why the restaurant and lounge isn't open. No comment from the grounds crew, as they were out chasing gofers (that's a joke). Lancer Catering, the folks who handle concessions for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek, will be running the show.
Bluebeard Coffee Roasters
The coffeehouse at 2201 Sixth Ave. finally opened this week. We ran a story on the joint a while back. Not only do they serve espresso drinks, but also roast their own beans.
The Black Angus restaurant in Lakewood is revamping its bar, giving it a fancy title - BullsEye Bar – and reopening it next month with "Hi-Def food, Drinks and Sports."
LINK: South sound Restaurant Guide