Capers Downtown opened today, serving, sandwiches, salads and soups in a comfortable, soaring space with park-side seating and a view of Tacoma's Old City Hall.
Capers Downtown is Eve Hewitt's spin-off of Capers Take Home Eatery on Proctor Street, which she opened with a childhood friend in 2002. Hewitt said she'll shuttle between Capers Downtown and Capers in Proctor.
"Sandwiches, salads and soups" doesn't do justice to the type of food Capers serves. Turkey is the bird kind, not the processed kind. Roast beef is cooked in house. The pulled pork sandwich rivals Pacific Grill's. Spicy pork pot stickers over Napa cabbage could make me reconsider my aversion to salad meals. Salad/sandwich prices are $8.99.
There are a couple of entrees: zucchini quesadilla, Dungeness crab casserole, both with salad. Pastries, too.
Hewitt said she plans to introduce a bistro-style dinner menu in a few months, with dishes like paella, lasagna, enchilladas. Dinners will be prix fixe, about $10-$15, and by reservation only, she said.
Good news for the downtown worker lunch crowd: a half glass of Capers' house red or white is $3.50. For those who can while away an afternoon at a park-side table, there are some Spanish, Australian and California beauties on the wine list.
Capers Downtown seats 50 inside and about a dozen outside.
One downtown wag told me that Capers Downtown is the kind of restaurant that's ready to be reviewed right out of the gate. Let's settle for a first bite in July.
Capers Downtown: 701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-272-2240. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
POSTSCRIPT: Eve Hewitt told me in December that she had planned to open Capers Downtown in May. It's almost July. She's not alone. Permits, construction, inspection delays are just a few of the many reasons that announced restaurants take so long to open. Bombay Bistro on Sixth Avenue, for instance, says it's awaiting final inspections. Mr. Greek's local franchisee told me landlord problems slowed his progress in Puyallup. He told me he was considering another city.
So here's the deal: Rather than play chase the restaurant, I'll blog about new restaurants when I hear about them and when they open, with reports in between only as warranted.
Ali Kashi, general manager of Bella Vita, an Italian restaurant and "ultra lounge," told me he'll open Aug. 1, in the space formerly occupied by a Sixth Avenue mini-casino. Blue Olive's former chef, Roman Aguillon, helms the kitchen. Check back here Aug. 1.