Construction is nearly completed, about 80 staffers are being hired and the menu is mostly set for Boathouse 19, the new waterfront restaurant at the Narrows Marina near Day Island. The expected opening date is July 2. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner.
The restaurant – located down the hill beyond the intersection of South 19th and Bridgeport – is the project of a man who has built a business from opening waterfront restaurants in unexpected places: Denny Driscoll, owner of the two Lobster Shop restaurants, at Dash Point and on Ruston Way. He also owns the Tanglewood Grill in Gig Harbor.
The approximately 4,500-square-foot restaurant will seat about 160 in the dining room and another 75 on the deck. It's in a neighborhood with limited dining options, although Titlow Beach, and the restaurants The Beach Tavern and Steamer's, are located a short drive away.
Executive Chef Tom Small, who directs the kitchens at both Lobster Shop restaurants, described, by phone, a nearly completed restaurant. "We'll be 100 percent done in the next two weeks, we're going to be ready on time." The decor will be rustic and outfitted with wood, with a boathouse feel. Wood will be milled from old pickling barrels that were used at the former Nalley plant.
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About the food, he said, "We're doing tastings twice a day, we're tasting 70 percent of the menu ... We're really excited about the food, we've got some fun things planned." Small said the menu is pretty much as he described in this February blog post, but he's added a few items, including Dungeness crab, which will move the menu pricing slightly beyond the $20 mark for which he was aiming. Added Small, "We're still planning a regional American cuisine with a focus on Pacific Northwest ingredients. It will be casual, comfortable fun." Small said burgers will be a main theme on the menu with dozens of build-your-own burger choices. The lunch and dinner menu will be the same. (See menu notes below.)
A general manager has been hired, but Small said he's still working on finding an on-site chef. While Small is developing the menu and will oversee the kitchen, he intends to hire a full-time chef to lead the kitchen.
Here's something useful for boaters - the restaurant will have moorage and there's a fuel station nearby. I'll ask about moorage prices and other details as the restaurant gets closer to opening.
Menu notes from my February blog post:Serving: Lunch and dinner. The menu will stay the same throughout the day, Small said.Theme: “We’re focusing on regional American food with a waterfront emphasis. We’ll do the greatest hits of comfort American food. We’ll have a blue plate special. Sandwiches we’ll serve on cutting boards with tin-can holders to hold fries. The culinary world is going back to its roots and getting comfortable again, it’s going to be scratch-made food.” He added, “A little playful, casual and fun with the traditions of the regions around the country.” Menu items will draw from the South, the Midwest and East Coast, as well as the Northwest.Sandwiches: House-made corned beef, po’ boys, American backyard-style burgers, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, Monte Cristos.Entrees: Scratch-fried chicken with fresh-cut fries, blackened rock fish with Cajun rice and Southern slaw remoulade, ribeye steak with barbecue French fries.Desserts: Cupcakes, banana splits, warm apple pie.Soda fountain: “We’ll make our own ice creams and syrups for sodas and custom sodas with a soda fountain. Milkshakes. Those kinds of things.” They’ll also serve lemonade, sweet tea and handmade drinks.
Boathouse 19Where: 9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma, 253-565-1919Opening: July 2 is the expected opening date, provided there are no construction or permit delaysFacebook here: facebook.com/boathouse19restaurantWebsite here: boathouse19restaurant.com