TNT Diner

Hub restaurant opening in South Hill

A glass of Pinnacle Peak Ale at Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma.
A glass of Pinnacle Peak Ale at Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma. Staff file, 2014

Right around the time the seasonal fall beers debut, The Hub from Harmon Brewing Co. will open its taps and doors to South Hill diners.

The Tacoma-based brewery and restaurant company owns two other Hub restaurants, in Gig Harbor and Tacoma, as well as the Harmon Taproom and Harmon Restaurant in downtown Tacoma.

If all goes as planned, an October opening is expected for the restaurant on 39th Avenue Southwest that will serve a menu of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, steak and seafood built to be paired with the house brews produced at Harmon’s brewery in Tacoma.

Harmon founder Pat Nagle described the project as an unexpected opportunity — and one the nearly 20-year-old company didn’t seek.

Nagle and Hub co-owner Carole Ford were recruited to the space by property owner Mike Rubel.

“He approached us. He said, ‘This is what I’m doing, I’d love to have the Hub be part of it. I think you’d be a perfect fit for a building I’m buying on South Hill,’ ” said Nagle.

Rubel saw the Hub as an essential component of redeveloping the property, which also includes plans for adding a medical building with dental offices — but that’s a few years away.

“I like the Hub restaurant because of their work ethic,” said Rubel. “They brew their own beer, and their menu and pricing fit the market in South Hill.”

That menu scope, with sandwich and entree prices generally $10-$20, will be exactly the same as the other Hub restaurants, said Ford. That means a pizza oven will be on prominent display. The family-focused restaurant will feature all the elements for kid-friendly dining, but also will appeal to adults with a sizeable bar with cocktails, as well as 10 brews from the company’s lineup — five flagship and five rotating seasonal taps — plus room for up to 9 beers from other local craft beer producers.

The building formerly housed a Mexican restaurant called Rio Blanco that relocated to Auburn. A complete building overhaul is planned. The entrance will shift from the confusing back-of-building placement to a door at the front of the building.

“It’s a pretty hideous, ugly, thing,” said Ford of the building, which carries about as much charm as a strip mall. “It’s got that heavy tile roof. We’re going to make it more Northwest lodge-y.”

There will be new window facades, a color palette matching the earthy colors and wood tones of the other Hub restaurants, artwork from local artists and the same tables and banquettes as the other locations.

All Hub locations excel at connecting diners to the surrounding environment. The Tacoma Hub’s roll-up garage doors spill diners into the St. Helens neighborhood. Gig Harbor’s Hub at the Narrows Airport offers you-can-almost-touch-the-wings experience of the airplanes. The South Hill Hub also will have that connection. “There will be garage doors that will open out onto the patio. There will be a beautiful deck,” said Ford. And that deck will wrap around the building. At the back of the deck area, there will be a space intended for live music performances, Rubel said.

Tacoma’s HHJ Architecture and Construction is overseeing the overhaul, and construction is expected to begin in late June.

Hub South Hill

Where: 214 39th Ave. SW, Puyallup.

Other locations: Tacoma, Gig Harbor.

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