For a little more than three years, the old Chevy’s Fresh Mex building has sat dormant. But this spring, it’ll be a restaurant again.
Northwest-based NYP Bar and Grill will open its sixth location, its first in Tacoma, in Lincoln Plaza.
Director of operations Ryan Zawisza is hoping for a mid-May opening, but that’s contingent on progress made during the next few weeks of construction that includes an absolute overhaul of the interior.
Construction crews ripped the old space to the bones, said Zawisza.
The restaurant, seating 150-175, will come with a modern-themed dining room. The restaurant is casual, with a moderately priced menu and will be friendly to families with kids.
Expect a menu built on the burger-pizza-sandwich-pasta model. (For local reference, the menu looks similar to the Harmon Restaurant and Brewery in downtown Tacoma.)
The restaurant was originally called New York Pizza Bar and Grill, but has backed away from describing its pizza, or its restaurant, as such. Instead, the pizza is described as “craft” (yes, that is an overused restaurant term, but at least we’ve moved on from “artisan”).
Pizzas come with a choice of three sauces (red, marinara, creamy garlic) built on a crust made with Scotch ale beer from Boundary Bay, the Bellingham brewery.
Other Northwest food companies pepper the menu: cured meat from Seattle’s Cascioppo Brothers, chicken from Mount Vernon’s Draper Valley Farms, bacon from Bellingham’s Hempler’s and 24 taps featuring only West Coast brewers.
The restaurant was founded in 2008 by Mike Novak in Lynden, a small town about 5 miles south of the Canadian border. Expansion was quick, by restaurant standards, with the opening of four more restaurants over a handful of years (Bellingham, Seattle, Everett, Burlington), with store number six in Tacoma this spring and store number seven coming to Maple Valley after the Tacoma opening.
And the push to grow southward will continue. “We’re looking in Olympia and Silverdale,” said Zawisza.
He described a menu that is about 85 percent made from scratch. That includes the pizza dough, sauces, dressings, hand-pressed burger patties , pulled pork, soups and much more.
The price point listed on the restaurant’s website sticks solidly in the middle for burgers and entrees, although pizzas are a bit higher than the competition here: Burgers are $11.35-$14.75, entrees from $12.85-$16.55, pizzas $12.75-$14.75 for the smaller size and $22.25-$25.50 for the larger sizes listed.
Weekend brunch will be served. There’s a full cocktail menu. There’s a gluten-free menu, and vegetarian items are well identified on the menu. Hiring begins soon.