When the Hub restaurant opens, the building might not be recognizable to those who dined there when it was Rio Blanco, a South Hill Mexican restaurant.
“We basically kept the four walls and that’s it,” said Riley Holder, who is overseeing construction of the latest addition to the Harmon Brewing Co. The building was taken down to the studs and rebuilt with a showpiece pizza oven, a platform entry and industrial themed decor.
The opening of the 154-seat Hub at Puyallup was delayed a few months, but it is now expected to open in mid-to-late December, as long as the construction timeline proceeds as planned.
The restaurant comes from the 20-year-old Harmon Brewing Co., which operates the Harmon Restaurant and Harmon Taproom in Tacoma and Hub restaurants in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. The company is co-owned by Pat Nagle and Carole Ford.
At the new Hub, Harmon beers will be paired with a menu of pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, pastas and entrees. Its owners expect that it will be kid- and pocket-friendly with a sandwich and entree menu that spans $10-$20.
The restaurant will appeal to grownups with a full cocktail bar and a $20,000 sound system that will support live music. There’s performance space inside the building, but space for a band on the outdoor patio, which will seat 50-100 diners. Twelve flat panel televisions will broadcast sporting events.
This Hub location will be reminiscent of its sibling restaurants, but the color palette and decor will be modernized, said Holder. The floor plan will change dramatically.
“When we got in there, everything was compartmentalized,” said Holder. “The bar, dining area, they were all extremely separate from one another. One of the first things we wanted to do was take down as many walls as we could. The walls that we did keep, we kept as half walls so that it’s an open environment.”
The space was designed to give a view of the restaurant’s showpiece, a Wood Stone oven that will be tiled with gunmetal colored subway tile. “The way the floor plan is designed, your eye is drawn to it,” Holder said.
The L-shaped kitchen flanks that oven. Unlike the colorful tones of the other Hub restaurants, the Puyallup Hub will feature a more muted color scheme with an industrial theme. “We’re incorporating steel, wood and stone with an emphasis on steel and wood and a subtle use of stone.” Holder described wood accents, dark-stained millwork and walls designed to showcase the hanging art, which will be multicolored bicycles, in keeping with the restaurant’s bike-and-brews theme.
The restaurant will open with 15 taps, with five Harmon flagships and another 10 taps devoted to Harmon seasonals and special beers.
The restaurant plans to serve lunch and dinner daily.
Hub at Puyallup
Where: 214 39th Ave. SW, Puyallup; facebook.com/HubPuyallup.
Opening: Mid-December, if construction goes as planned