TNT Diner

Gig Harbor restaurant JW has closed its doors permanently

The sun-splashed exterior of intimate JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor on Friday, June 26, 2015.
The sun-splashed exterior of intimate JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor on Friday, June 26, 2015. Staff file, 2015

After nearly eight years of business, JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor has closed.

Owner Jason Winniford and sister-in-law Jamie Lindsey, who has been the restaurant’s longtime manager, quietly closed the restaurant Saturday without making any grand announcements other than telling their staff several days in advance.

They sold the dinner-only restaurant at 4107 Harborview Dr. to a new owner who will change the name and concept. The new owner, they said, also owns Sel, the restaurant in Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood.

“I didn’t intend to have this long of a run, especially after me passing off the operations to Jamie, which has been incredible how much she’s grown the business. This definitely outlived my expectations,” said Winniford.

He founded the intimate 40-seat restaurant in 2011 with his father Joe, stepmother Karen and brothers Jarett and Claude, who is married to Jamie.

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Empty bottles of wine have been fashioned into votives at JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor. Staff file, 2015 Drew Perine

Winniford managed the restaurant until 2012 when he left to pursue a relationship and work at the luxury resort Lava Lava Beach Club in Hawaii. He returned in 2015 and with Lindsey opened a food truck, JW at the Boatyard (still open, but under a different operator and under the name The Trolley @ the Boatyard).

Winniford said he’ll miss the relationships he’s built with Gig Harbor diners since he worked at Gig Harbor’s Brix 25, which he managed from 2006 to 2010.

Closing is “definitely bittersweet.”

“This is a positive thing for the family and we’re very grateful for the community’s support,” he said. “The great run we had, not a lot of people get to do that and not a lot of people get to sell their business on a positive note. We’re grateful we’ve had the support and loyalty we’ve built. And we’re riding off into the sunset now.”

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A plate of seafood pasta with shrimp, salmon and scallops is a delight at JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor. Staff file, 2015 Drew Perine

Winniford now manages Glen Acres, a private golf club in South Seattle. Lindsey said she’s looking forward to being a full-time mom.

“I want to stop working so much and focus my energy on my kids, who are growing up way too quickly,” she said.

The restaurant was known for its intimate dining space shaped a bit like a tilted, twisted triangle with nooks for cozy dining and a perch at the front that gave an up-close view of the bustling kitchen.

The restaurant also was known for handing out complimentary glasses of sparkling wine before dinner — a remnant of Winniford’s work at Brix 25 — and collected a following for its compact and well-executed menu of New American cuisine. The restaurant produced everything from sublime Northwest seafood to homespun American comfort food, such as meatloaf and macaroni and cheese gussied up with stylish touches.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270, @tntdiner
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