A friend made a terrific observation as we left State Street Beer Co., newly opened in the Sixth Avenue neighborhood.
“It’s like Bluebeard, but with beer.”
Taking over the space formerly occupied by Cork, State Street Beer Co. is an awful lot like its neighbor, Bluebeard Coffee Roasters.
Both have airy spaces, minimalist decor and a young, hipster feel. Although the clientele aren’t. You’re as likely to see a grandma as you are UPS students dining around Sixth Avenue.
State Street Beer Co. opened June 9 with a tap list of 15 brews along with wine and cider. The menu is succinct with snack plates and flatbreads.
Here’s a first-bite look.
It’s this paper’s policy to avoid criticism of food and service in a restaurant’s first month.
Why can’t I find it? It lacks an obvious sign. It’s tucked away on State Street. The front door is two to the right of Bluebeard’s side entrance. Look for the roll-up garage door flanking the wood front door.
Owners: Dustin Johnson and Alicia Palaniuk. This is the first crack at ownership for the industry veterans, who formerly worked at restaurants in Seattle and Colorado, Johnson said.
Why Sixth? “We were looking for a unique location with tons of character, in a friendly neighborhood. Our goal was create a space that we would enjoy hanging out at with our friends. We're family friendly, so being in a neighborhood really appealed to us,” Johnson said.
The space: Simple and industrial-rustic, with wood accents, pendant lighting and concrete floors. A lounge arrangement anchors the center of the room with wooden bench seating and wooden booths lining two walls. High-top bar seating at a communal table and a half dozen more stools at the order counter. A cozy nook will be a date-night score.
Order at the counter: It’s not obvious until you sit there for several minutes wondering why nobody has come to your table. There’s no table service. Look for the “order here” sign at the counter. Menus are at the counter, not on the tables.
Da beers: 15 tap beers listed with an emphasis on local brews. The opening tap list included Tacoma’s Wingman Brewers, Gig Harbor’s Wet Coast Brewing Co. and Kitsap Peninsula’s Silver City. Pours in two sizes. Eight-ounce pours are $3-$4 or 16-ounce glasses for $6-$8. Their goal is to never repeat a beer, so once a keg is gone, expect something new in its place.
Other stuff: Non-alcoholic choices including Dry Soda, ginger beer and root beer. Also, tap cider, and a half dozen wines-by-the-glass ($7-$8).
The menu: Small and snack-ish, but built for pairing with beer. Five nibbles, including olives, pistachios or landjaeger ($3.50 to $5) plus a brie plate with pistachios and crackers ($7.50). A charcuterie plate with meat and cheese ($12). Half dozen flatbreads with gluten-free and vegan choices ($6-$11).
Get: The charcuterie plate with three kinds of meat— salami, coppa and prosciutto —a creamy wedge of brie (appropriately close to room temperature), cubed white cheddar, pistachios, olives and flatbread for assembling ($12). The platter is a meal for one, snack for two.
Vegan love: Get the sweet potato flatbread. It’s also gluten-free, but tasted surprisingly airy for such a thing. The flatbread came with a smear of sweet potato puree topped with chunky-cut and super spicy Mama Lil’s Peppers and finished with fresh arugula ($11). Served hot.
State Street Beer Co.
Where: 606 N. State St., Tacoma; 253-292-0017; statestreetbeer.com.