It was not a very long journey — about a half a block— but for owners Chris and Jen DiLoreto, it was a momentous move for their downtown Tacoma sandwich cafe that reopened Tuesday after a three-month closure.
Their move is a push to increase their visibility to downtown diners. Their previous storefront was in a semi-hidden location further down Commerce Street on the ground floor of the building that houses Sanford & Son, a multifloor vendor labyrinth featuring funky vintage finds.
DiLoreto’s new location is in a prominent corner space at South Ninth and Commerce streets in a spot formerly occupied by Commerce Teriyaki.
It was a bittersweet move for the couple because they met — and then married — in the Sanford & Son storefront. Their 2013 wedding ceremony was held in the cafe’s dining room.
The early version of that cafe that opened in 2012 was a 300-square-feet cubbyhole with seating for 11. They expanded to 25 seats and polished the interior with black-and-white checkerboard flooring and vintage decor borrowed from Sanford & Son.
The new space doesn’t gain additional seats, but is equipped with a larger kitchen that offers more flexibility in the menu. “We can expand our menu down the road,” Jen DiLoreto said. The decor mimics that of their former location with a bright-and-airy feel and the same checkerboard floor.
For now, they’ll stick with what they know best: deli and baked/grilled sandwiches, East Coast-style subs and housemade soups and salads. Their bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is a personal favorite, but the baked Italian or the fork-and-knife chili dog with housemade black bean chili are popular.
The DiLoretos are proponents of partnering with local businesses. They’ll still serve coffee from Tacoma’s Manifesto and make their sandwiches on bread from Tacoma’s Baker Boys.
Jen DiLoreto is known for her decorated sugar cookies, and she’ll continue to bake those along with her brick brownies (named after their size) and an expanded bakery offering, thanks to the new bigger kitchen. A grand opening celebration will be May 20.
Where: 786 Commerce St., Tacoma; facebook.com/DiLoretos.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.