TNT Diner

Here’s what’s opening in the former Black Kettle bar space in downtown Tacoma

The former Black Kettle Bites and Brew in downtown Tacoma.
The former Black Kettle Bites and Brew in downtown Tacoma. Sue Kidd

A new tavern and eatery called An American Tavern should open this spring in downtown Tacoma if all goes as planned.

The bar will be a casual meeting place with a menu of sandwiches, bar snacks, beer and cocktails. It comes from two longtime industry workers who have been planning to start a business together.

Kyle Bidwell and Matt Vierela aren’t just opening the business together, they’re also the contractors for the space. They’re doing all the construction work, said Bidwell via message. Their best estimate is that an opening will be sometime after March.

He described the bar as their take on a traditional American tavern. It sounds something similar to Black Kettle Bites & Brew, which exited that location at 744 Market St. in June. Black Kettle focused on bottled beers, counter service and a simple menu of grilled and cold deli sandwiches.

The tavern “will focus on providing cheap eats and drinks at a fast service to a busy work crowd and local residents,” explained Bidwell. He described An American Bar as “a relaxed atmosphere at night in a semi old-school traditional tavern-style establishment.”

He added, “Our food is American-style cold sandwiches, hot paninis, tacos, wings, nachos, etc. We will stock local bottle beer and other beverages.” He said they have plans to serve cocktails, too.

Bidwell grew up in Montana and has worked in the service industry since high school. He’s done everything from cooking to tending bar. Vierela is a Puget Sound-area native who also has worked as a bartender.

They had been looking for some time for a location before finding the former Black Kettle space near where Vierela lives.

“We decided it would be a great spot. We plan to make friends with everyone in the community and provide a quality service for them,” said Bidwell.

An American Tavern

Where: 744 Market St., Tacoma

Opening: Spring 2019

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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.