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Dining news Restaurant openings Tacoma dining

Happy Teriyaki reopening in downtown Tacoma, plus a DuPont expansion

Happy Teriyaki poke

When the downtown Tacoma location of Happy Teriyaki closed in February 2018 due to a grease fire, Tim Bartz resolved to reopen his teriyaki, sushi and poke bowl restaurant.

Flash forward and that opening is finally coming after two years of negotiating with insurance companies, working through permitting and conducting the cleanup and construction. 

Happy Teriyaki
Happy Teriyaki has multiple locations in Pierce County.

If all goes as planned, the downtown Happy Teriyaki at 2223 Pacific Ave. will open sometime between February and March, Bartz said. “It is actually mostly finished, it just needs seating and equipment and it is just about done. We will be having some sort of event or party to spread the word and have some gifts for those that come in,” said Bartz.

While he rebuilt the Tacoma location, Bartz continued to run his other Happy Teriyaki restaurants. Last year, he purchased downtown Tacoma’s TheKoi sushi restaurant. And this year, he expanded his restaurant group by one. 


A few weeks ago, he took over the DuPont location of a restaurant called Happy Teriyaki. That location previously was owned by somebody else, although it carried the same name as his Happy Teriyaki restaurants.  That restaurant is at 1100 Station Loop, suite 121 (next to Starbucks).

“It is a little bit of a project, but should be fun. We are completely remodeling the interior with new paint, floors and seating. We are also adding a sushi counter for a sushi chef,” he said.

The DuPont location will remain open while they do the remodeling slowly, said Bartz. 

His restaurants are known for having menus that go extensively beyond teriyaki. At many of his locations, he also offers sushi, design-your-own poke bowls and ramen (miso, shoyu and tonkotsu). He’s also known for adding trendy food to his menus. Bartz was the first in the area to offer sushi burritos years ago. 

Poke bowl
A tuna poke bowl with edamame and marinated cucumbers from Happy Teriyaki.


I’m a devotee to his design-your-own poke bowls where diners can select from a long list of ingredients, both cooked and raw. The bowls are $11.95 for a small and  $13.95 for a large. Start the bowl with a choice of white or brown rice or salad. Next, select from raw tuna or salmon or fried tofu or chicken teriyaki. Diners can select four toppers from a list of 12 that includes marinated cucumbers, corn, edamame, seaweed salad, kimchi, jalapenos and more. Next, select from a list of 10 toppers that include green onions, fish eggs, crushed nuts, fresh cilantro, nori and crispy garlic. The final step is selecting a dressing. There’s the traditional poke sauce, but also spicy mayo or a Korean style spicy gochujang. 


Information: thehappyteriyaki.com

Pierce County locations in Parkland, Fife, DuPont and Tacoma (reopening soon)

Did you hear that the old Cheng’s Asian Restaurant location in Lakewood has a new restaurant in that space? Hong’s Restaurant will open soon. Read more here.


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