Here’s a look at restaurant comings and goings in the South Sound.
Messages started coming in at the beginning of the month asking about Aviateur, the downtown French diner opened by Bertrand Young in April 2014 at 1498 Pacific Ave. The restaurant had switched its menu to a fixed price offering recently, but its original menu was French bistro fare (with an outstanding croque madame).
Readers asked: The lights have been off, is it closed? I stopped by and saw the restaurant’s signs have been removed and noticed a sign advertising the space is available. No word on what might be opening next, but I have my eye on the building that formerly housed Zara and Sea Grill.
RESTAURANT FIRE UPDATES
I’ve had a few readers ask about Bella Nina’s Ristorante Italiano, the excellent old-style Italian restaurant at 6218 Sixth Ave. The restaurant sustained a fire in December and has been closed since. The owners do intend to reopen. Co-owner Kelly Kim said she does not yet know when the restaurant will reopen, but they are currently working with insurance adjustors to assess and fix the damage.
Speaking of restaurants that caught fire, Fuzion Cafe at 6820 Sixth Ave. is planning to reopen more than a year after it was damaged. Owner Hong Ngov, whose siblings own Indochine Asian Dining Lounge and Indo Asian Street Eatery, said she’s hoping for a spring reopening.
DINERS, DOUGHNUTS AND COFFEE HOUSES
The longtime coffee house near Pacific Lutheran University at 401 Garfield St., Northern Pacific Coffee Co., closed Jan. 8.
Midland Eatery, the little neighborhood diner that opened in September 2015 at 9823 Portland Ave. E., closed permanently. Owner Liz Gilham could not reach an agreeable settlement with the building’s landlord over a rent and repair dispute. She closed the Midland neighborhood restaurant in late December. Gilham, who also is the previous owner of Boxcar Grill, is already on the lookout for a new location.
Epic Donuts, the South Hill doughnut bakery that opened in 2013 at 12314 Meridian Ave. E., closed permanently Jan. 13. Owners Tom and Erin Dobrinski cited a need to spend more time with family for the closure. Here’s one bright spot for doughnut lovers on the hill: The restaurant is for sale. “We are optimistic it will reopen soon” with new owners, said Tom Dobrinski. More information at facebook.com/EpicDonuts.
Sumner’s Mignon’s Cafe at 1012 Main St. has closed, although it has been operating on limited hours as new owners take over. The cafe will be called Hometown Charm Cafe. Expect a new sign soon. More information at facebook.com/sumnergals.
Former owner Mignon Sutherland-Suave is expecting a baby and intends to spend some time being a stay-at-home mom.
Rhein Haus, the Bavarian-themed beer hall, is planning to open in the Stadium neighborhood by mid-February at 633 Division Ave. An exact opening date has not yet been set, but the restaurant will make an announcement in the next few weeks.
A construction delay caused by the cold weather is the reason the taproom and restaurant pushed its opening to February. Visit facebook.com/rheinhaustacoma for more information.