First-bite report: Cafe Vincero in downtown Tacoma

Staff writerJune 13, 2014 


Kevin Cornwell has just remodeled this downtown Tacoma space into his new Italian restaurant Cafe Vincero. His team includes, from left, Connor Guzman, Bruce Barber, and Madisen Bryan.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer Buy Photo

Downtown Tacoma’s finest entertainment corridor percolates between Seventh and Ninth on Pacific Avenue. Consider it equally fit for nightlife seekers or daytime lunch grubbers.

At night, there’s the tiki bar Tacoma Cabana with handcrafted cocktails from Jason Alexander and island-themed “vacation fusion” eats from Robyn Murphy. The Tex-Mex restaurant Matador has a knock-out tequila list. The casual pubs Meconi’s, The Forum and The Office compete for the same crowd, but each display distinct identities.

The excellent Orange Door Vietnamese bistro and the lunch buffet at India Mahal get my vote for noon dining. And then there’s that fun spot for kids of all ages, Dorky’s Arcade, with pinball machines from an era when we wanted our hair and music equally big and obnoxious.

It gets better. Two promising brewery-taprooms — Odd Otter Brewing Co., and Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. — are expected this summer.

Kevin Cornwell was smart for planting his casual Italian eatery in the middle of that stretch. He opened Cafe Vincero April 23 at 714 Pacific Ave. Cornwell, a South Sound native whose first restaurant job was working at Vince’s Italian Restaurant, carved a beautiful restaurant into the narrow space that previously held a retail shop.


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