In what seems to be a continuing trend, another Seattle restaurant outfit will expand to Tacoma.
Seattle’s Casco Antiguo will open a Tacoma outpost of its Mexican cocina and bar in The Henry, a 161-unit apartment building on the Foss Waterway.
Seattle’s restaurant expansion to Tacoma started in 2015 with the opening of Elemental Pizza, continued in 2016 with the opening of two Chow Foods restaurants and will continue into 2017 with the opening of Rhein Haus Tacoma, an outpost of the Seattle beer hall.
Casco Antiguo owner Harvey Ward Van Allen said he was approached by the owners of The Henry to open a water-view restaurant with seating for about 100 in the 5,000-square-feet space that’s little more than a concrete slab at the moment.
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Van Allen said he is in the process of applying for building permits. It’s difficult to predict an opening timeline until those permits have been issued.
Seattle’s Casco Antiguo is built into an older Pioneer Square building at 115 Occidental Ave. S. with separate entrances for the bar and restaurant. Tacoma’s outpost won’t have the same barriers or requirements as the Seattle building, said Van Allen. He envisions Tacoma’s Casco Antiguo as an open space with fetching water views and patio seating for 50 additional diners. “It has the same exact view as the glass museum,” said Van Allen.
He will import some of the Seattle design elements to the Tacoma building, such as the layers of wood and metal that lend a warm, rustic feel to his Pioneer Square restaurant.
“It won’t be an exact duplication of the Seattle restaurant, and I would never try to do that. The space we have here is so different. The space will dictate the design a little bit.”
He said the building’s proximity to the water will influence some of the design, as well as the menu.
The menu will closely resemble the Seattle location. Van Allen describes the menu as traditional Mexican using as many Northwest ingredients as possible. The restaurant is casual, with mid-level prices.
The Seattle dinner menu includes taco duos ($8-$9) made with handmade corn tortillas featuring filings such as roasted pork belly and pineapple in a guajillo sauce, chili-marinated beef brisket or vegetarian-friendly roasted romanesco cauliflower. Heartier dinner plates include pork cheeks braised in guajillo and sherry ($15) or beer-braised duck leg served carnitas-style in mole sauce ($16).
The Seattle restaurant is also known for its spirits: tap margaritas, tap sangria and tequila flights.
The Tacoma restaurant will offer table service and will be outfitted with a full bar. Children will be allowed in the restaurant.
Van Allen said Jerry Lariz, executive chef of Seattle’s Casco Antiguo, will oversee the Tacoma restaurant with help from an on-site Tacoma chef. Seattle’s general manager Jeana Janik also will take on the Tacoma Casco Antiguo.
Casco Antiguo Tacoma
Where: The Henry, 1933 Dock St., Tacoma.