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Posts made in: 'Open and Shut Cases' (32) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 32

November 11, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Mountain Goat Salad

True North Coffee House in downtown Tacoma serves a Mountain Goat Salad made by Molly's Grown To Eat in Seattle. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

There's a new coffee house in downtown Tacoma that goes by the name True North Coffee House. Having opened last month off 11th Street on Broadway, the little joint offers a cozy space to sip coffee concoctions created with roasted beans from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, plus sammies and salads from Molly's Grown To Eat - a wholesale space based in Seattle specializing in "grown to eat" fresh and organic products.

True North only thinks, and sells, Western Washington goods - even their syrups are local, save for the vanilla used in their vanilla syrup, which is from Madagascar.

My Eat This Now recommendation is True North's Mountain Goat Salad. Though all meals are prepared and packaged by Molly's, everything is über fresh and beautiful. The Mountain Goat is a savory salad featuring loads of organic quinoa and spinach topped with goat cheese crumbles, tart dried cranberries, aromatic green onion, sliced almonds with a side of super tasty mustard thyme vinaigrette. POW! It's healthy, fulfilling and tasty. A solid lunchtime option, whether eaten in or taken out.

True North's charming ambiance and intimate space invites conversation over coffee or enjoying open mic night, which occurs every Saturday afternoon.

TRUE NORTH COFFEE HOUSE, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1127 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.353.7322

November 5, 2014 at 8:18am

Beer Here: 1111 Fest, Point Defiance Tap and Grill opens, Ron Pattinson, Goose Island Beer Co. ...

Point Defiance Tap and Grill opens in Ruston Thursday, Nov. 6. Photo courtesy of Facebook

You've picked up the candy wrappers off your lawn, lit a candle for your beloved deceased relatives and have your sights, and stomach, on Thanksgiving. Some people think Thanksgiving and they think Macy's Day Parade and the National Dog Show and Leon Lett. No doubt, those are important parts. But I'm always fixated on the most beautiful part of Thanksgiving, the story of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer. There's ample time to tell that tale before Turkey Day. My palate has started to shed its hoppy skin for a winter molting. All I can think about are the rich, dark flavors of beers, and maybe a cardigan with elbow patches. Let's get to this week's South Sound beer events.


Are you enjoying 1111 Fest? Don't act you don't know the Peterson Bros. 1111 joint on Hilltop Tacoma has hosted a different brewery since Saturday night. Tonight, cool cat Keith Carpenter of Mac & Jack's Brewery will chat with the beards, followed by Lagunitas Thursday, 7 Seas Brewing Friday, Elysian Saturday and others up to the big party on 11/11.


Look for the signs: Northwest microbrews and wines, cheese and charcuterie boards, locally-sourced grass-fed beef burgers from Heritage Meats, cheese and charcuterie boards, local farm produce from Calendula Farms and others, cheese and charcuterie boards ... Bill Bonnie is in Ruston. Bonnie, owner of Tacoma Wine Merchants and connected Enoteca Wine Bar in the Stadium District, has been searching and fighting Tacoma for years for a spot to open his Northwest centric upscale pub meets bistro concept. A former antique store next to the former blues club Coles in the town of Ruston is where he and his business partner, Donn Frostad of North Slope Construction, landed. After many months of renovation, the Point Defiance Tap and Grill will open Thursday for lunch and dinner.

Are you young? Are you professional? Yeah, apparently neither am I, but that doesn't mean I can't tell you about the Young Professionals Network Wingman Brewers Tour at 6 p.m. The YPN claim they're the next generation of community leaders valuing leadership, philanthropy, networking and fun. And you can experience all four of their values as you tour Wingman Brewers, taste a flight of seven to eight beers, at network. The cost is $17, $20 for those without a membership card. If you have a drive to succeed in business, a passion for serving the community and a love for tasty brew, this is your Thursday night.

If you're a member of Harmon Brewing's Mug Club, then you know you have been summoned for a Steep and Deep Winter Ale first tasting at 6 p.m. in the Harmon Tap Room. Bonus for members: A chance to purchase one of 180 hand-bottled Super Samurai Barley Wine, signed and numbered by Harmon head brewer Jeff Carlson.


Yes, yes, South Sound, our IPAs are delicious hits of orange, grapefruit, grass and pine courtesy of hops such as Cascade, Centennial and Columbus growing in our backyard. In Colorado, specifically Fort Collins, they do IPAs with Calypso and Mosaic hops, relatively new varieties first released to the public around 2011. The two hops color the beer with peaches, grapefruit, mango, lemon and blueberry. Chef Gabriel Cabrera will pair these hop flavors of New Belgium Brewing's Rampant Imperial IPA with cilantro curry chicken and Thai chili sauce, teriyaki beef and sweet soy sauce over sushi rice. So yum. Chef Gabriel has three other courses and four other New Belgium brews scheduled for a 6-9 p.m. dinner at Salty's at Redondo. Grab $68 and call 253.946.0636 right now.


Beer historian and beer travel writer Ron Pattinson will drop by Narrows Brewing at 3 p.m. to discuss beer history and his new book, The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1965. For years, the England-born-turned-Amsterdam resident has gobbled up obscure books on beer history - including brewery logbooks - and in 2007 began sharing his findings in a conversational pub tone on his blog. Read more about Pattinson here.


Seriously Puyallup River Alehouse? You couldn't wait until after Black Friday to host Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co.? The brewery's infamous Bourbon County Stout will be released the day after Thanksgiving, unleashing the imperial stout with a fearsome 14 percent alcohol content, aged in used bourbon barrels from places like Iowa's Templeton Rye, and hunted for by fans on their release dates like a Beautiful Angle poster. Oh well, Goose Island will bring its other beers and schwag to the downtown Puyallup alehouse from 6-9 p.m.

November 3, 2014 at 10:47am

Peterson brothers and 7 Seas Brewing collaborate on The Galley food truck

The Galley food truck will open Tuesday, Nov. 4 serving afternoon and evening meals at 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor. Courtesy photo

Inspiration can take many forms, not the least common of which are pints of beer and a lazy Friday evening. Of course, the problem with these alcohol-induced epiphanies is that they're usually either, one, really stupid ideas, or two, quickly forgotten in favor of pizza and the sofa. There is the rare exception, however, and that is where our story begins.

It was June of 2014, and two men wearing life jackets stood above left field. While best friends wrestled over foul balls, groins were scratched and a giant fuzzy big-eyed reindeer punk'd grandmothers, these two life jacket-wearing guys, drinking IPAs, had a moment - an authentic human connection producing a deep stare, an "a-ha" moment, followed by juicy, unfiltered spiritual nourishing rush to the head.

They took another sip of 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA.

Then paused.

The two businessmen knew some ideas float while others sink like lead to the bottom.

They stared at each other's life jackets.

Sometimes you just have to allow that something grand and good might actually be born while wearing a life jacket ... while drinking beer ... beer named after a life jacket.

And sometimes that something ends up being a food truck.

That fateful night at Cheney Stadium, during 7 Seas Brewing's Life Jacket Session IPA release party, the brewery's co-owner Mike Runion and Tacoma restaurant and bar Peterson Bros. 1111 co-owner Justin Peterson considered partnering on a food truck.

"A week later Mike called me and asked if I was serious," says Peterson. "I said, ‘hell yes!'"

"We sat down and decided in one day that it was a great idea," explains Runion. "We drove up to Seattle because we knew a guy who was selling a food truck but the previous buyer backed out. We bought it that day. It happened that fast."

Then, the waiting game began. The permits needed to be acquired. Runion and Peterson also had huge projects of their own in the final stages. Runion and 7 Seas forged a partnership with 253 Heart owner Steve Naccarato to produce the 253 Pilsner coupled with a benefitting nonprofit program. The beer cans needed to be designed and distribution nailed down. Peterson, with his business partner and twin brother, Robby, forged a partnership with Tacoma's X Group Restaurants to remodel Red's Valley Pub down the street from the Tacoma Dome. The Valley's menu was still in the works, a beer garden was unfinished and taxidermy still needed to be secured.

"My business partner and head brewer, Travis Guterson, and I have a huge respect for what Justin and Robby created on Hilltop Tacoma," says Runion. "The way they run their business is similar to how we like to do things. They're detail-oriented, but it's super relaxed with amazing service. And the food is absolutely on point, which can surprise people who judge the joint as divey."

The truck, dubbed The Galley, extends 7 Seas' nautical theme. WrapJax wrapped the giant truck to resemble a wooden pirate ship, including portholes.

The truck will be parked in the huge parking lot in front of the 7 Seas brewery, serving lunch and nighttime meals, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 4. The truck will operate 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Chef Roger Weatherhead is in command of the vessel.

>>> Chef Roger Weatherhead in The Galley. Photo courtesy of Facebook

"The menu will be different than Eleven Eleven or The Valley," says Peterson. "I knew instantly who should run the truck's kitchen. I've known Roger Weatherhead since he was helping us in the kitchen at the old Hotel Bar & Grill. He's seasoned in food trucks."

"I actually met Robby Peterson while working at the Spaghetti Factory, before the Hotel Bar & Grill," says Weatherhead, who grew up in Tumwater, and subscribes to the Peterson brother's bearded way of life.

After the Hotel Bar & Grill, which was owned by The Swiss partnership in the early 2000s, Weatherhead worked in several SeaTac hotel kitchens, Point Defiance Zoo's catering program, and eventually followed a friend to the Flair Taco truck in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.

"The taco truck was hard work. The hours were strenuous, but it was fun," says Weatherhead. "Feeding drunk people at the end of the night was crazy fun."

Weatherhead got tired of the drunks, and eventually was hired on with Where Ya At Matt, Matthew Lewis' popular Seattle Cajun food truck.

"Last year when I was working for them, Eater named it the number nine truck in the country," says Weatherhead. "They did numbers I didn't know you could do on a food truck. They had a good system set up. And they had a menu where people didn't just want to order one thing. Some people ordered a sandwich, side and dessert. I learned a lot from them."

Weatherhead also worked for the famous Skillet truck, as well as ran Seattle's The Grilled Cheese Experience truck for a summer while the owner tended to his new baby.

"Then, I walked into Eleven Eleven this summer and next thing I know ... I'm running the kitchen in The Galley," says Weatherhead.

A wooden ship-inspired behemoth first draws you in, but Weatherhead plans to have you as an anchor customer with his gourmet take on classics. During the day, expect sandwiches, soups and salads "with twists," Weatherhead says.

"If all goes as planned, I will serve a housemade lamb chorizowith sofrito de tomato and shaved Manchego. It's simple. A classic play on the meatball sub," he says.

He wants to serve a crispy pork belly BLT with heirloom tomatoes and butter lettuce. He wants to hand customers a Caesar with butter lettuce, housemade dressing, crouton and marinated white anchovies called boquerones. "Romaine has taken iceberg's place," he laughs.

"At Skillet, I would make myself a sandwich with just boquerones," he says. "I probably had the worst breath, but I didn't care. They are so delicious."

"We want a steady lunch menu that people could depend on," says Runion. "The Peterson Brothers and Roger are sandwich experts, so we'll have three to five sandwiches, some soup and a couple salads."

For the first couple of weeks, the lunch menu will also be featured during the night session, with the possibility of an additional menu item or two.

Eventually, the night session could feature an entirely new menu.

"We want to add tacos or Mexican-inspired dishes for a couple nights. Then, another couple nights cook up bratwursts and sausages. We don't want to be pigeon-holed in one type of cuisine," says Runion. "We'll also have a nightly badass charcuterie plate with local cheese, local salamis and other items. Beer, sausage, cheese and bread - I could live on that."

Weatherhead will ease into the nightly specials, adding shareable bar snacks such as pretzels with beer mustard, the charcuterie plate Runion has in mind, mussels with beer and candied bacon. He's also eager to cook with 7 Seas beers.

7 SEAS BREWING, food truck 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday,  the brewery 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3006 Judson St., Gig Harbor, 253.514.8129


7 local beer secrets leaned at 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA rollout

Photos from the re-opening of The Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome

September 20, 2014 at 11:10am

First Peek: Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. in Tacoma

Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. opens today at 1 p.m. in downtown Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Brewery soft openings are for practicing and thanking.

Operators invite friends and family, their various suppliers, distributors, investors and other associates, many of whom have a vested interest in the venue's success. These types of people tend to provide two types of positive feedback: (1) glowing validation and/or (2) helpful suggestions. It's a time for brewery operators to take a moment's breath, clink pint glasses in appreciation and show fellow brewers their operation.

The staff can run through pouring procedures, test the payment system and practice their ABV and IBUs.

Soft openings are not for media types to dissect.

During Pacific Brewery and Malting Company's soft opening last night I felt foolish snapping photos. Even with all the smiles, and many South Sound brewery owners and head brewers in the house offering congratulations and support, posing for photos or answering questions wasn't apropos.

The downtown Tacoma brewery opens today at 1 p.m. It's handsome. All five beers are dialed in, priced right and worthy of 9-ounce and 16-ounce pours.  

Later, I'll dive into the beers, the beautiful wood and the pain-in-the-ass front driveway they were forced to build.

Congratulations founders Steve Navarro and Brent Hall.

Here are a few photos from last night.

PACIFIC BREWING AND MALTING CO., opens 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, 610 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.442.0596

September 19, 2014 at 12:23pm

Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. opens Sept. 20 in downtown Tacoma

Here's a snapshot of what to expect tomorrow. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A little over a month ago, Weekly Volcano scribe Joshua Swainston discussed the resurgence of Tacoma's beer legacy, focusing on Pacific Brewing & Malting Company's historical roots in Tacoma, and the brewery's re-opening on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

As far back as when Job Carr stirred wort alongside the banks of Commencement Bay, our city has had a love affair with beer. It is only natural that with a mix of working class Scandinavians, Austria/Hungarians and Germans that someone (if not everyone) would be mixing their own home brew.

In pre-prohibition Tacoma, the brewery district housed Heidelberg, Milwaukee and Pacific Brewing and Malting companies. Today, we have new local favorites such as Tacoma Brewing Company, Narrows Brewing and Wingman Brewers creating flavorful brews and bringing beer pride to the City of Destiny - and more are on the horizon.

Read the full story here, then go drink Pacific Brewing & Malting Company beers tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m.  That's right, after many months of delays due to permitting issues, Pacific Brewing and Malting will finally swing open its big doors, and serve beer as it did over a 100 years ago.

PACIFIC BREWING AND MALTING CO., opens 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, 610 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.442.0596

September 2, 2014 at 9:53am

Tacoma Original Pancake House Puzzle, Part One: We have Engine House No. 9 ...

It's been confirmed Engine House No. 9 head brewer and master "sour" beer maker Shane Johns didn't have his hand in E9's delicious sourdough pancakes. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

As News Tribune Lifestyle Editor Sue Kidd reported, the Original Pancake House will open in Primo Grill's old home on Sixth Avenue. According to Kidd, the "Sixth Avenue restaurant will be operated by franchise owners Ryan Medford and Blake Williams who opened the South Hill Original Pancake House in June 2009."

Hmmm ...

If you stand in the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Pine Street, next to the spot where the Original Pancake House will open in November, you could fling a pancake and hit six other joints serving breakfast ... six joints that serve a delicious breakfast.

If I were to stand in the middle of the intersection, I wouldn't be able to fling a fatayer and hit another Middle Eastern restaurant, or punt a Pot-au-feu at a bistro, spike aSpiedini alla Siciliana in front of a ristorante, flick a frikadellar, lob a labskaus. ...

When the X Group bought Engine House No. 9 in June 2011, Tacoma woke up and took notice. Having perfected the flavors at Asado and Masa, the X began tweaking E9's menu. The dessert menu received one of the initial changes. E-9 went from serving premade frozen sweet treats to housemade pastries, courtesy of its sister restaurant, Masa. The burgers received a positive makeover. Specialty runs were added, such as Italian week and Greek month. Families showed up to celebrate special occasions, or recap the week over Friday dinner.

Six weeks ago, Tacoma really woke up to E9. The vintage firehouse that has been serving beer for 40 years added a weekend breakfast. Traditional morning fare shares the long, narrow menu with such innovations as Kobe Joe's Special, Jalapeno Popper Quiche, House English Muffin Bread Sandwich and open-faced omelettes.

E9's sourdough pancake breakfast is particularly satisfying with two large, paper thin dark brown beauties with two eggs and a two bacon or two sausage decision (go bacon).

"The sourdough pancakes are quite amazing indeed," says E9 cook Tony Hedstrom. "There isn't any secret ingredient, however there is quite a bit of magic involved, and her name is Julia Hauntz Brown. We are very lucky to have such an amazing pastry chef like her on our team. She also uses her magic to create monolithic cinnamon rolls. She will cook them in batches of eight - because that's all you can fit on the pan at a time and this is done daily because any rolls not sold at breakfast are consumed by the staff."

Hedstrom couldn't pinpoint the most popular breakfast dish so far, as he believes people haven't made their way completely through the menu.

"If I was forced to name a dish right now, though, it would probably be the cheesy home fries side dish. What's not to like about home fries grilled in jalapeno honey butter smothered in cheese and seasoned to perfection?"

For a list of E9 breakfast items, click here.

ENGINE HOUSE NO. 9, breakfast 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, 611 N. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.272.3435

August 19, 2014 at 2:15pm

Cafe and music venue Obsidian to replace Jezebels in Olympia

Nathan Weaver, left, and Chris Beug are turning the old Jezebels into Obsidian, a cafe and music venue in downtown Olympia. Courtesy photo

A few weeks ago, Jezebels, a club in downtown Olympia, closed its doors. Now, as demolition takes place, the rumor mill is churning about what's going on behind those same doors. Is it a concert venue? A cafe?  A bar?

We caught up with new owners and seasoned musicians Nathan Weaver and Chris Beug about their vision for Obsidian, and how that includes all of the above.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: First, why the name Obsidian?

TEAM OBSIDIAN: Obsidian is a black crystal formed from fast cooling volcanic lava. It is essentially volcanic glass. We chose the name because of the healing and purifying properties associated with the stone. Many people believe that obsidian absorbs negative energy.  Beyond that, it is simply a beautiful word.

VOLCANO: How did this opportunity arise?

OBSIDIAN: We've been planning on opening a venue in downtown Olympia for many years. A little over a year ago we began working in earnest to find the right property. The location we chose has a perfect layout for a concert hall-cafe and lounge and we couldn't be happier with how the design of the space is progressing.

VOLCANO: What is your plan for Obsidian?

OBSIDIAN: Our goal has always been to join in the longstanding Olympia tradition of supporting underground music and art while simultaneously providing a safe space for our community. During daytime hours, Obsidian will be a cafe and coffee house. We'll offer a full menu with local, organic and gluten-free options that will include waffles, sandwiches, salads and small plates. The cafe will also feature Stumptown coffee, traditional espresso drinks, Nitro Toddy and a selection of handcrafted tea blends. We'll also carry locally sourced baked goods delivered daily from Left Bank, Blue Heron and Bearded Lady bakeries.

After dark, the lounge will offer a selection of craft cocktails, local craft beer, hard cider and wine while providing unique ethereal ambience.

Obsidian's main focus will be booking live performances of all varieties. The concert hall will be well equipped with a proper stage, powerful PA system, lighting rig and sound engineer. Events will be a combination of all ages and 21+.

VOLCANO: So the space will be divided in half - the front will be a café and coffee shop and the back will be the show space?

OBSIDIAN: Yes. We have gutted every inch of the previous build-out and are completely redesigning the venue. The aesthetic of Obsidian will be an amalgamation of the building's existing industrial architecture and organic elements such as cedar and natural fibers. We hope to create a warm, creative and inspiring space.

VOLCANO: When is your first show?

Obsidian: We're putting together a grand opening for the fall arts walk. We are currently available for booking requests October through December. Obsidian will book local and established national acts regularly and will host DJs every Friday night. We are launching an online event calendar that will be updated weekly.  

VOLCANO: What do you feel sets you apart from other venues in town?

OBSIDIAN: We have both had the chance to perform in some of the best and worst venues in the world. We're taking what we've learned about what works and what doesn't and are applying it to Olympia. I don't think anyone else is doing this.

VOLCANO: Anything else you feel compelled to say?

OBSIDIAN:Olympia has long been known as a hub of Pacific Northwest culture, particularly in the realm of music. We both feel extremely grateful for this opportunity to contribute to such a rich history.   

Opening is slated for Oct 3. A website will launch soon. In the meantime, visit For booking inquiries, go to To send them a virtual hug, go to

OBSIDIAN, opening Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all ages until 11 p.m., 414 Fourth Ave. SE, Olympia,  

August 7, 2014 at 11:13am

First peek: new Primo Grill at Sixth and Oakes in Tacoma

Primo Grill re-opens Friday, Aug. 8 at its new location at Sixth and North Oakes Street in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

It was the yawn of all yawns. Long. Followed by a lean against his new, long beautiful bar. After 20 seconds of rest, Chef Charlie McManus went back to work. No time to rest. The tiring remodel is complete. It was a big night - the opening night of the new Primo Grill. He and business partner/wife Jacqueline Plattner hosted Tacoma Community College boosters, staff and students. The restaurateurs have supported the TCC art program since 1999, helping to raise money for scholarships. Behind the new bar hangs a six-panel mural created by TCC art instructor Marit Berg and her students. It's a gorgeous depiction of the Puyallup River from Mount Rainier to the city of Tacoma and the surrounding farmlands, celebrating Primo's farm-to-table approach to dining. Tonight, TCC is back in the house, another private event before the restaurant opens to the public Friday, Aug. 8.

The new Primo Grill would make a beautiful picture too. Tall ceiling with exposed beams, cantina windows that open, communal dining environment with brown accents and reclaimed Douglas fir flooring, and a display kitchen. The seating remains close to the previous location, around 80 seats. The mural pops behind the bar - a bar five times longer than the bar at Primo's previous location five blocks west on Sixth Avenue. Primo has just added a new element to its operation - a bar scene, with a new craft cocktail menu, smaller but higher quality wine list and a delicious Chardonnay grappa I sipped last night. I forgot to write down the name.

The Mediterranean fare menu has changed, too. It grew a bit longer, although it still demands South Sound ingredients and Northwest flavors. Several dishes made the move, including the pizzas, the apple wood smoked pork chop, its famous Bolognese spaghetti and the creamy Parmesan polenta. A grilled rack of lamb chops, grilled chicken under a brick, mint and pea tortellini, housemade fettucine with smoke salmon and nine starters are on the menu, just to name a few.

It wasn't my night to indulge in McManus' new dishes. It was all about TCC and the relationship it has formed with Primo Grill. McManus and Plattner were too tired and too busy to kick me out. I will say bartender Alexandria's Black Manhattan with 12 year Elijah Craig Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Carpano Antica and a bourbon cherry was a delicious take on the classic drink.

PRIMO GRILL, opens Friday, Aug. 8, dinner only, 2701 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.7000

Filed under: Open and Shut Cases, Tacoma,

August 6, 2014 at 3:48pm

Photos: The Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome re-opened today

The Valley Pub in Tacoma has re-opened as of Wednesday, Aug. 6. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

Once upon a time two scruffs - John Xitco and Jeff Paradise of Tacoma's X Group restaurants - had a few beers with two beards - Justin and Robbie Peterson of The Eleven Eleven on Hilltop Tacoma. The result was the new and improved Valley Pub, which re-opened at 3 p.m. today at 1206 Puyallup Ave., close to the Tacoma Dome.

I never dreamed of such a merger, but it makes complete sense. The creative minds behind X Group's Asado steakhouse, Masa modern Mexican fare, Choripan at the Museum of Glass and the historic Engine House No. 9 restaurant matched with the Peterson brothers, who in addition to being craftsmen, grew up watching their dad, Bob Hill, with Gayl Bertagni and Jack McQuade, take The Swiss Restaurant and Pub from a mess to success. The X Group and Petersons bleed Tacoma. Their styles aren't that different. Yet, they understand different markets. Combined ... wow.

Weekly Volcano scribe Jackie Fender chatted with Xitco two months ago regarding the new venture, in which he discussed taxidermy on the walls, 12 draft handles, something called the "Pillars of Pennies," booze on the shelves and pub grub similar to the Eleven Eleven.

Today, it's all there, and more, including outdoor seating with an outdoor dart board. Good to see Bandito Betty behind the bar training folks. There's a limited menu for now.

Here are a few photos we snapped during The Valley Pub's first half-hour of business.

>>> Jeff Paradise, Justin Peterson and Robbie Peterson are proud owners of The Valley in Tacoma. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

>>> Here are the first customers at the new Valley Pub. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

>>> Eric Willard, sales and distribution head honcho with Two Beers Brewery and Seattle Cider Company shares a beer with Garrett Davis, sales manager with PBR, at The Valley Pub in Tacoma. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

July 17, 2014 at 10:40am

Harmon Brewing to open Hop Coffee during its Progressive Party July 26

Nikki Johnson will be pouring Hop Coffee and other coffee drinks at the Harmon Tap Room. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Coffee-infused stouts are fairly common in the craft beer industry, especially in imperial stouts. It makes perfect sense to match roasted coffee with roasted malt.

Harmon Brewing Company has taken the coffee-beer combination in a different direction with its Hop Coffee - a coffee roast accented with its beer. Made with Bluebeard Coffee beans, Hop Coffee is a coffee that is all about the beer.

"We have taken two of America's most favorite tastes - coffee and beer - and fused them," says Harmon Brewing Co. co-owner Pat Nagle. "My business partner Carole Ford came up with the idea of taking some of our beers, reducing them down to syrups for flavoring for local coffee."

Ford chose Tacoma coffee roaster Bluebeard Coffee, which buys its beans from Latin America, Indonesia and East Africa, as their partner.

Bluebeard principle Kevin McGlocklin is excited to work with Harmon Brewing. "They are go-getters, always coming up with something new," says McGlocklin.

McGlocklin is creating a special dark roast for Hop Coffee, which the Harmon folks believe will work better with their beer reduction.

According to a news release, Harmon Brewing hired Melina Eshinshi, a professional chef, to handle the special alchemy between the coffee and beer. The flavored syrups are reductions of four Harmon signature craft beers: Mt. Takhoma Blonde with Orange Zest, Pinnacle Peak Pale Ale with Vanilla Bean, Pt. Defiance IPA with housemade Torani caramel sauce and Puget Sound Porter with housemade chocolate sauce.

"I can't reveal all the trade secrets, but for example I mixed our Pale Ale with an all-natural vanilla extract and that is going to make a fantastic Macchiato," said Eshinski in the news release. "The Puget Sound Porter seems a natural fit with any mocha drink."

Ford and Nagle will sell their Hop Coffee and standard coffee drinks from the northwest corner of the Harmon Tap Room. Stadium Bistro, the restaurant that occupied this space before the Harmon Tap Room, had hired a guy to build a coffee shop in the corner. The Harmon Brewing Co. will take the concept to completion, opening the Hop Coffee business during its Progressive Party Saturday, July 26 - the official merging of the two St. Helens neighborhood sister restaurants Harmon Tap Room and The Hub into one giant beer complex, which I announced several months ago. Meet the brewers, drink specialty beers, taste the new menu, sample desserts from Harmon's new in-house baker, hug a Harmon employee - the Progressive Party will run 1-6 p.m. for $15 a head. Spac eis limited; grab your tickets at The Hub and Harmon Tap Room.

The homebrewing competition Aroma of Tacoma awards ceremony will also be held during the Progressive Party.

"You can come in and grab your regular coffee drinks, or you can get one of our specialty Hop Coffees," explains Nagle. "It's going to be its own coffee shop, open at 6 a.m., where you can come in with your laptop, have a cup of coffee, watch our guys brew beer in the brewery room. It will be like having your own large office, complete with Wifi."

Bluebeard Coffee will help hire and train the Hop Coffee staff.

The Hop Coffee logo carries the "H" from the Harmon logo and the "O" is a big hop.

"It's a beautiful logo," says Nagle with a big smile.

The Hop Coffee space will also house Harmon's merchandise - shirts, caps and such - which Nagle hopes to set up an online store to sell both the coffee and swag.

"We're looking to remodel the Harmon downtown to have a Hop Coffee outlet there, maybe a Hop Coffee out at the Gig Harbor Hub."

Could there be Hop Coffee huts?

In any case, you won't be sorry to wake up and smell the coffee with Hop Coffee.

HOP COFFEE OPENING/PROGRESSIVE PARTY/AROMA OF TACOMA AWARDS, 1-6 p.m., Saturday, July 26, Harmon Tap Room/The Hub, 204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2725

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Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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Recent Comments

Ted Smith said:

Thank you for the list of restaurants to try out. I will have to try their Mac and Cheese....

about Tournament of Mac and Cheese: It's Cheesy 16 time!

tastymakan said:

I like your post on Bakery restaurants I like ...

about Mac and Cheese Madness: The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery

Angela Whitten said:

Any Spring beers?

about Cheers to Winter Beers in Puyallup

Web Developers Delhi said:

Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading...

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots

Why Adam? said:

Why Adam? loves the Volcano and Northwest Military! We are honored to be a part of the local...

about Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff