TNT Diner

Here’s what’s happening with the old Keg restaurant site in University Place

The Keg restaurant has been vacant since 2013. TRA Medical Imaging will open in that location.
The Keg restaurant has been vacant since 2013. TRA Medical Imaging will open in that location. Staff file, 2016

Observant readers have noted that construction is underway at the old Keg restaurant space in University Place at 2212 S. Mildred St.

The question I’ve heard a lot lately is, “What restaurant is opening there?”

Sorry, folks, but it’s not going to be another restaurant.

University Place city officials confirmed that the new business will be from the imaging company, TRA-MINW. Rachael Costner, corporate relations manager of the company, said it will be an administrative building housing the company’s call center and other administrative functions.

The Keg operated at that location for more than 30 years. It closed in January 2013 after opting to not renew its lease.

In 2014, a restaurant owner announced he would open a restaurant in the Keg space, but that plan failed.

Jake Barth planned to open Sawyer Jax at the Keg site with local chef Aaron Grissom. They envisioned a higher-end steakhouse with a speakeasy element.

The project fell through after Barth and business partner Andy Yee settled a legal dispute over ownership of Dirty Oscar’s Annex, a restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma.

The result of that settlement was that Barth would continue operating the Dirty Oscar’s Annex in Roundup, Montana — a business he opened in 2015 — and Yee would continue to operate the Dirty Oscar’s Annex in Tacoma.

After that settlement, Barth decided not to pursue the Sawyer Jax restaurant.

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