A vacant and beloved waterfront restaurant building will soon house a restaurant again.
Gino’s at the Point will open at Dash Point in Northeast Tacoma where the Lobster Shop operated from 1977 to 2014.
Denny and Katie Driscoll closed the original Dash Point Lobster Shop in 2014 and focused their efforts on their other restaurants, Lobster Shop on Commencement Bay, Boathouse 19 and Tanglewood Grill. The building has been without a restaurant tenant since they departed.
Gino Rivera is the chef-owner behind Gino's at the Point. He’s a longtime restaurant owner who owns El Barrio in Federal Way and Gino’s Bistro in Maple Valley. He originally opened Gino’s Bistro more than 15 years in Federal Way before changing the concept to El Barrio, a Latin-themed restaurant and cocktail lounge.
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His Gino’s at the Point will be closer to his former Gino’s Bistro in concept but expanded. His restaurant will be a supper house with a menu of upscale fare featuring the food for which he’s long been known, “Mediterranean with Spanish flair.”
Expect dinner entrees in the $20 to $40 range. Rivera described an upscale-leaning atmosphere but not fussy.
The menu will change seasonally and will list a broad range of seafood, including Rivera’s own spin on poke, plus more traditional Mediterranean (and Northwest fare), such as clams and prawns. Ceviche, a dish from his native Peru, also will be offered alongside paella.
He also plans to feature steak, chops and the pasta for which he’s become known at his Gino’s Bistro restaurants.
His wine list will emphasize Washington wines and he plans a classic cocktail list with the occasional surprise and nod to his Peruvian background (see: pisco sour).
Rivera said he was drawn to the building because of its great bones and stunning view.
Rivera has been renovating the dining room since October. He expects at least a few more months of construction to update the space.
The footprint will shift slightly. He’s already taken out the tiered booths in the downstairs dining room. He plans to replace them with open seating and a small bar at the rear of that dining room. The downstairs view will be that same waterside perch smack dab in a residential neighborhood with a view of the adjacent park, the pier and the shoreline.
Don’t fret, the upstairs dining room with the stunning view of the water and Vashon Island will remain. Rivera is awaiting final permit approval to figure out how that room will be configured, but it will be a dining area.
While the restaurant will open with dinner service, Rivera said he’s considering offering quick-service lunch at a take-out window in the busier summer months.
Rivera operates his restaurant as a family business with wife Kelly and their children, Keanu, Max, Kiara and Nyah, who all work at the restaurant in some fashion.
Gino’s at the Point
Where: 6912 Soundview Drive NE, Tacoma.
Opening: Sometime later this spring, if all goes as planned