TNT Diner

Here’s where the Tacoma area’s first Dutch Bros Coffee will open, and when

Dutch Bros Coffee is coming to Fife this year.
Dutch Bros Coffee is coming to Fife this year.

Coffee lovers might’ve noticed that Dutch Bros Coffee, the Oregon-based coffee company, has been growing in the region. A reader asked a good question.

“Why do Thurston and King counties each have Dutch Bros Coffee stands, but not Pierce County?”

The complicated answer involves real estate availability, location, building permits and lengthy construction time lines.

Long story short: Dutch Bros representatives say Pierce County will get its first Dutch Bros coffee this year. It’s opening in Fife.

Technically, that Fife location was planned before a nearby, but in King County, Dutch Bros Coffee opened in Federal Way. Federal Way beat the Fife location to an opening because it was an easier remodel of an existing building. The Fife location will be new construction.

That first Pierce County location will be at a notoriously busy intersection just off Interstate 5 where 54th Avenue East and Pacific Highway East intersect. Louie G’s and the Poodle Dog are across the street. (you’ve probably sat through four light cycles a time or two trying to cross that intersection).

That the intersection has quite a bit of traffic is one reason it was selected, said Megan Nymeyer, Dutch Bros regional operator who started with the company 12 years ago in her hometown of McMinnville, Oregon. She also liked that the exit from the parking lot would allow coffee drinkers to get onto the freeway quickly.

“It’s amazing how busy that area is,” said Nymeyer, who said she’s stood at the intersection watching the incredible amount of traffic moving to the nearby port area.

She said her territory includes the Fife area to North Tacoma. Locals can expect there will be more Dutch Bros coffee stands following, but where those will be she can’t yet say for sure.

Nymeyer also can’t say with certainty when the Fife Dutch Bros Coffee will open because the building is still under construction. She said an opening by summer should happen, though.

The format will follow that of other drive-thru Dutch Bros locations. There is a drive-thru on one side of the building and a walk-up window on the other side flanked by a grassy area.

The coffee company is known for its broad menu that includes hot and cold espresso drinks, frozen drinks, smoothies, chai and other teas, lemonades, Italian-style sodas and hot cocoa.

Sue Kidd has been The News Tribune’s restaurant critic since 2008. She dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals. Sue is a South Sound native. She writes about new restaurants, openings and closures and knows where to find the best tacos in every neighborhood.