TNT Diner

German eats update: 2 beer halls coming to Tacoma, Bruno’s will move

At Bruno’s European Restaurant in Parkland, cabbage rolls are served with mashed potatoes.
At Bruno’s European Restaurant in Parkland, cabbage rolls are served with mashed potatoes. Staff file, 2011

Schnitzel, sausage, sauerbraten.

We’ll be seeing more of that in the next year.

By about this time next year, two new German beer halls should be open, and Bruno’s European Restaurant will be well settled into its new Lakewood digs. Here’s what’s happening on the German restaurant horizon.


There hasn’t been a day since finding a new home for their Bruno’s European Restaurant that someone hasn’t stopped by and asked Bruno and Krystyna Tomaszewska, “When will you open?”

“This will be the last time we move,” Krystyna said of their new home off Bridgeport Way in Lakewood.

The move will be quick, taking just a few days, and will happen closer to the end of October (a sign on the building will soon announce the date). Their current Parkland location will stay open right up until the move.

This will be a return to Lakewood. Bruno’s first opened more than five years ago in a four-table eatery off Pacific Highway Southwest and Bridgeport Way Southwest. Eighteen seats in close quarters meant you might find yourself dining elbow-to-elbow with strangers, but that just added to the charm of the restaurant specializing in European homestyle cooking.

In 2011, the couple moved Bruno’s to Parkland to its current 46-seat space (and later expanded to 66 seats).

Their new home comes with seating for about 100 diners, a bigger kitchen, an easier entrance for coming and going, a bigger parking lot and plans to serve breakfast, in addition to lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.

No matter where the couple is serving, the deep menu of German, Polish and European eats — reflective of Bruno’s cooking résumé from Poland to Germany — will change very little, although a few menu specials might find permanent homes. Diners will still find schnitzel, frikadelle, sauerbraten, rouladen, spaetzle and bratwurst alongside latkes, cabbage rolls, Polish wedding kielbasa and pierogi.

Krystyna described the new breakfast menu as a broad swath of European dishes. Among the offerings will be bratwurst or kielbasa with fried dumplings and a selection of Polish cold cuts with European cheeses.

The couple thought about opening their location sooner, but there was a catch. They’re waiting for their liquor permit to transfer.

“You can’t have German food without beer,” Krystyna said.

The new restaurant will have space for more taps to improve what already was among the best European tap and bottle lists in the area.

Find the new Bruno’s European Restaurant sometime after Oct. 20 at 10902 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood; 253-719-7181;


In case you missed my story in June, here’s an update on a beer hall to open in the Stadium neighborhood. The Seattle Bavarian-themed beer hall called Rhein Haus will open a Tacoma outpost in late 2016 in an expansive triangle-shaped building at 633 Division Ave. The beer hall will hold a 13,000-square-foot entertainment emporium, complete with bocce ball courts.

Co-owner Deming Maclise said in a phone interview in June, “It’s going to be just like our original Rhein Haus. We’re going to make all the sausages in house, bake the pretzels and buns in house. We’ll have five bocce courts, a couple big parking places, two big bars and, of course, the full kitchen with full menu. And a big mezzanine for private parties. On top of that, we’ll be doing a small brewery.”

That small brewery will have an interesting focus in a town full of craft breweries specializing in ales. Rhein Haus Tacoma will specialize in small-batch lagers. In addition to brewing their own, the beer hall also will have a tap list that includes Tacoma and European brews.

More details about Rhein Haus at


The German beer hall from the same owners of Berliner Pub in Renton has been under construction for so long in downtown Tacoma — more than two years — readers have asked, “Are you sure it’s still happening?”

“We are still moving slowly through all the requirements, but we are at least moving forward,” assured co-owner Lydia Mascarinas, who is opening the German-themed pub and restaurant with husband Dennis.

The initial name for the business was Veltins Bierhalle, but the couple decided to duplicate the name of their Renton pub.

The Berliner Pub in Tacoma proved a complicated construction project from the onset, an outgrowth of its home in a long-neglected building vacant for several years (it’s the former home of Neener’s, at 2401 Pacific Ave.).

Mascarinas said there’s no firm opening date yet, but progress has been steady. Last week, a new concrete floor was poured.

The pub will mimic the family-friendly beer hall theme of its sister pub. Diners will find an extensive list of German beer and pub eats. Live music also is planned. More details at

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270