TNT Diner

Tacoma’s newest oyster bar isn’t where you’ll expect it

Becca Reikow slurps down a kumamoto oyster at 3uilt as a part of a preview opening of 7 Seas Brewing in Tacoma on Aug. 4.
Becca Reikow slurps down a kumamoto oyster at 3uilt as a part of a preview opening of 7 Seas Brewing in Tacoma on Aug. 4. lwong@thenewstribune.com

Soon you’ll be able to slurp shigokus, kumamotos and kusshis at Tacoma’s newest oyster bar.

The new restaurant inside the 7 Seas Brewery, both opening Wednesday, will include a raw oyster bar, as well as charcuterie boards, vegan sandwiches and food built to pair well with beer.

The restaurant — pronounced Built but spelled 3uilt — comes from Jaime Kay and Jason Jones, owners of popular McKinley bar, Top of Tacoma, and previous owners of Marrow in Sixth Avenue’s restaurant neighborhood.

3uilt is located inside the massive 80,000-square-feet brew emporium in downtown Tacoma. It’s a second location for Gig Harbor’s 7 Seas, which will continue to operate its Gig Harbor taproom.

The idea for 3uilt formed quickly. In the spring, 7 Seas co-owner Mike Runion approached Jaime Kay Jones about opening her own restaurant at the taproom. She’ll operate her business as a food counter and will be joined later this year by a coffee roaster when Tacoma’s Valhalla Coffee opens an outpost there.

Here’s a look at what Jones has planned.

That name: 3uilt doesn’t exactly spill off the lips, which is why the restaurant’s name is pronounced Built. The number three, Jones said, has significant meaning to the couple, who make a game out of texting each other when the clock strikes 3:33. Built is what Jones called “our groundwork. We feel we built our way in Tacoma from the ground up.”

Overall theme: “Our approach is to be beer-friendly, group-friendly food. My brain automatically goes to meats and cheeses. You put a meat-and-cheese board in front of me and I’m a happy person.”

Menu: Meat and cheese boards of varying sizes for splitting, plus deli and pressed sandwiches, salads and, of course, the fresh shucked oysters.

Meats: She intends to source from Northwest companies that specialize in charcuterie and sausage, such as Bavarian Meats and Olympia Provisions.

Cheeses: She’ll also buy from Northwest creameries, such as Willapa Hills, Rogue and plenty of others. “We have endless choices here. We’ll do boards of those with small, medium or large sizes with accoutrements, nothing too wild, some local honey, Macrina bread.”

Charcuterie to go? She’ll be able to slice up meats and cheeses for customers to take home.

Sandwiches: She’ll take those meats and cheeses and turn them into cold or hot sandwiches, with about 10 choices.

Vegan: Jones has gained a following for her devotion to creating vegetarian and vegan food that goes well beyond standard bland wraps and sprouts-laden veggie sandwiches. She described dressing up vegan offerings with flavorful add-ins, such as carrot hummus, kale-almond pesto and cured black olive paste.

Salads: She’ll offer five standard salads, plus two or more that will be seasonal or rotating vegan flavors. Those salads also will be available for takeout, as will most other menu items.

The oysters: “I love oysters. I miss them from Marrow. Initially, I’m going through Taylor” (Shellfish Farms). “We’ll shuck them to order,” said Jones. “My favorite is the Shikogu. They’ve got a nice deep cup, they’re friendly to shuck.” Kumamoto oysters and Canadian oysters, Kusshis, also will be offered raw on the half shell. She’ll serve the oysters with mignonettes and other oyster-friendly sauces.

Playing with beer: She’ll incorporate some of the 7 Seas brews into menu items.

Ordering: Order at the counter, find a seat, grab a beer will be the protocol here.

3uilt at 7 Seas Brewing Tacoma

Where: 2101 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma; 7seasbrewing.com.

Opening: Wednesday.

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