Kate Lowry has wanted to open a restaurant in the Milton area for at least four years. Next month, it’s finally happening.
The Mill Restaurant and Sports Bar will take over the long vacant A’s Sports Pub and Grill on the edge of the Surprise Lake Square shopping center.
Her 8-year-old restaurant and bar in Frederickson, Ricky J’s, has been self-sufficient for several years.
“It has a good, solid clientele, so I’ve been looking around for three to four years for a second restaurant,” she said.
The A’s location contained everything Lowry wanted. A large dining room with seating for close to 200. A space that would appeal equally to families with kids and watering-hole seekers. And, most importantly, the area is where she calls home. She grew up in Edgewood and, after a brief move to Tacoma, again lives there.
She named her restaurant with a nod to Milton’s roots as a mill town. In fact, back when the mill was constructed overlooking the Puyallup valley, the city was to be named Mill Town, except those pesky feds at the post office rejected the two-name town. And so it was shortened to Milton.
City officials have supplied Lowry with historical photos that will be incorporated into decor Lowry described as rustic and homey.
“They’ve given us tons and tons of old pictures of the old mill. We’re really excited to embrace the city we’re in and get involved in the community.”
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily with a separate bar area and menu.
She’ll run the restaurant with her brother, Dustin Lowry.
She hired Alex Anton, a chef who comes from a longtime local restaurant family, who has designed a menu of dressed-up comfort food classics.
Anton previously cooked at Tacoma’s Smoke + Cedar, Pacific Grill and that restaurant’s events center. Before that, he cooked at the Hi-Life, a Chow Foods restaurant in Seattle, and the Columbia Gorge Hotel, which he says was his first brush with fine dining after a lifetime spent working in his family’s restaurants.
His father, Jim Anton, is the owner of Anton’s at Watson’s, and a string of restaurants going back four decades: Anton’s on Puyallup’s East Main, Charlie’s in downtown Puyallup and Anton’s Farmhouse at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.
Anton’s menu at The Mill will be a collection of American classics with chef touches. His food love is updating versions of dishes he grew up eating in his family’s restaurants or food he obsessed over as a kid.
One fun update is his spin on a classic Wendy’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. His lunch menu version will be made with a creamy cheese he’ll make from fontina, asiago and pecorino romano emulsified with carrageenan, a seaweed derivative, that turns it as creamy as American cheese, but much tastier, said Anton. The burger will be built on brioche with kurobuta bacon, the fancy creamy cheese, and dressed with lettuce, tomatoes and onion ($10, with house chips).
Lunch includes sandwiches and burgers ($10-$17), plus a few entrees ($17-$24). Dinner will delve into hearty territory with bone-in pork chops, spaghetti calabrese, Wagyu sirloin steak, lamb, duck and weekend prime rib ($16-$29). There will be a separate bar menu ($3-$15) and children’s menu ($5-$6). Menu items will be created for vegetarians and gluten-free diners.
Lowry intends to open the restaurant around mid-May, if construction goes as planned.
The Mill Restaurant and Sports Bar
Where: 900 Meridian E., Milton; facebook.com/themillofmilton.