Erin Mason-Esseln had one good reason for opening her restaurant Pennys on the Boulevard Lakewood is starving for food. Good ol American type cooking is kind of hard to find right now, said Esseln. She expects a spring opening for her full-service restaurant Pennys, which will be in the space recently vacated by Lakewood Pub and Grill.
This is a first restaurant for Mason-Esseln, who is working through permitting issues related to the restaurants aging plumbing. Permitting will determine an opening date, which is tough to estimate until a plumber sorts out the problem.
She expects an opening this spring, though, and has hired a chef. Brian Edwards, formerly of The Robin Hood restaurant and pub in Union, plans a homespun menu of the greatest hits of American diner and comfort food. A meatloaf sandwich, burgers, turkey pot pie and macaroni and cheese are on the menu. A website menu has lunch entrees and sandwiches in the $8-$10 range. Pizzas are listed at $7.95-$16.95.
Mason-Esseln, a Tacoma native, recently worked in sales, but started her career working in restaurants.
The restaurant will be outfitted with a bar, but expect Pennys to be a family-friendly venture equipped with booster seats and menus for kids.
The restaurant is named after a friend, a man named Penny who Mason-Esseln described as, a Marine drill sergeant, a bartender, a hospital administrator, and finally retired from the Tacoma Housing Authority at the age of 70 or so. He lived in Tacoma from 1960s to when he died at 93 a few years back. He went to every grand opening of every restaurant in the area. The goal is to create a place he would be a regular at if he was still alive.