I called Blue Olive last week to check on a lead that the "ultra-lounge" martini bar would close. The new manager told me he was soon to be the old manager. He told me to call back and talk to the owners this week.
I called today. No answer, and no has yet responded to my message inquiring about Blue Olive's demise. I'd already heard that Blue Olive cooks had landed new gigs.
But if the volcanic bloggers at Spew are to be believed -- and with a name like that, who could dare not to? -- Blue Olive would be the first high-profile flame-out of the restaurants that would revitalize downtown Tacoma.
I moseyed by today and found Blue Olive dark and locked at lunchtime. A folding table filled in for a broken window on the patio door. A banner for Sunday's New Year's Eve party hung in the waterfront window like a clock that's run out of time.
Driving off, I counted room for 18 parking spaces on Dock Street, in front of Thea's Landing, where Blue Olive enjoyed a view of the Foss Waterway, the Museum of Glass, and until a boat storage shed was built, Mount Rainier. I might have walked to Blue Olive, as I'd just left one of my regular haunts near the university. But once there, there would be little incentive for the effort.
I've got nothing against glass artists or fancy-priced dog treats (the latter are sold at one Thea's Landing shop), but where's all the shopping and city life that condo projects are supposed to bring?
In the time I've lived in Tacoma (I arrived about the same time Blue Olive opened in late summer 2004 and initially looked at condos in Thea's Landing and Alber's Mill), there have been only three attractions that have drawn me across the freeway and the railroad tracks to this part of Dock Street: a nearly desserted urban settting to train my dog on Sundays; Dale Chihuly himself at the Museum of Glass; and Blue Olive's ice-ringed bar, a creation so cool it should have its own Zamboni.
I predict a sushi joint will take over the space.
I also think Dale Chihuly should hustle up a restaurant in his hometown.