Erin Mason-Esseln had one good reason for opening her restaurant Penny’s on the Boulevard - “Lakewood is starving for food. Good ol’ American type cooking is kind of hard to find right now,” said Esseln. She expects a spring opening for her full-service restaurant Penny’s, which will be in the space recently vacated by Lakewood Pub and Grill.
This is a first restaurant for Mason-Esseln, who is working through permitting issues related to the restaurant’s aging plumbing. Permitting will determine an opening date, which is tough to estimate until a plumber sorts out the problem.
She expects an opening this spring, though, and has hired a chef. Brian Edwards, formerly of The Robin Hood restaurant and pub in Union, plans a homespun menu of the greatest hits of American diner and comfort food. A meatloaf sandwich, burgers, turkey pot pie and macaroni and cheese are on the menu. A website menu has lunch entrees and sandwiches in the $8-$10 range. Pizzas are listed at $7.95-$16.95.
Mason-Esseln, a Tacoma native, recently worked in sales, but started her career working in restaurants.
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The restaurant will be outfitted with a bar, but expect Penny’s to be a family-friendly venture equipped with booster seats and menus for kids.
The restaurant is named after a friend, a man named Penny who Mason-Esseln described as, “a Marine drill sergeant, a bartender, a hospital administrator, and finally retired from the Tacoma Housing Authority at the age of 70 or so. He lived in Tacoma from 1960s to when he died at 93 a few years back. He went to every grand opening of every restaurant in the area. The goal is to create a place he would be a regular at if he was still alive.”
Penny's on the Boulevard7505 Steilacoom Blvd. S.W., Lakewood; 253-302-3208, pennysontheblvd.com
Also in the works in Lakewood: Babblin’ Babs Bistro, formerly of the Proctor neighborhood, is slated to open in the former site of Kimberly’s. Read this blog post from January for more details.