Tacoma’s West End Pub reopens with new owners; sibling restaurant Cole’s reopens
Tacoma’s West End Pub very quietly opened its doors this week, during a period that has seen a slow roll of reopenings for bars and restaurants across Pierce County.
So far this month, we’ve seen the return of the Poodle Dog in Fife, Burs in Lakewood, Hob Nob in Tacoma, Zodiac Supper Club in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and Beer Star in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood. And coming soon is the reopening of The Ram in Lakewood on October 26. Did I mention The Mix in St. Helens reopens on Monday??
KEEP IT COMING, PEOPLE. Let’s get alllll of you reopened.
THE RETURN OF THE WEST END PUB
The triumphant return of The West End Pub comes with some big news: The pub has new owners. As I told you back in this story in July, the West End is now owned by Jeff and Helen Fraychineaud.
The Fraychineauds own some of the area’s best bars: The Parkway Tavern, long revered as one of the best watering holes in town, for starters. They also own Hank’s, the neighborhood spot with great pizza and an outdoor patio. The Fraychineauds built Cole’s, the Ruston watering hole, from scratch in an old building with great bones in Ruston.
HOT TIP: Cole’s reopens this weekend (read more at the bottom of this story about that).
And did you know that the Fraychineauds bought Terry’s Office Tavern in Tacoma’s Proctor neighborhood in 2018?
And now the West End is a member of the Fraychineaud bar empire.
As the Fraychineaud crew promised back in July, the menu, decor, style are the same. And longtime employees have returned.
While the menu is basically the same categories offered on the former menu, it is scaled down to fewer items per category, which is the protocol for most restaurants right now with the restaurant supply chain still struggling and owners having trouble getting their hands on consistent products, which you can read more about right here in this story. Owners are running on thin margins and are staffing accordingly. So, yeah, expect all your favorite restaurants to look different right now, including the West End.
Here’s a first-bite look with details. Read to the end for an update on Cole’s, which opens today! And there’s a huge surprise for PARENTS about Cole’s. (Scroll down for more info).
The West End dining room is following all current pandemic restrictions, including well-spaced tables and sanitation methods. We watched staffers do a full scrub down between diners. We also saw all employees wearing masks. There’s no seating directly at the bar, in keeping with the current pandemic restrictions. All tables are limited to six seats, the current restriction.
Yes, there are still 20+ flat panel televisions playing allllllll the sports games. You can’t turn your head 10 degrees without your eyes hitting a television screen broadcasting.
Yes, they have pull-tabs! Some things never change.
The steak menu is a tiny bit scaled back, and they now serve three steaks instead of the five steaks on the old menu (the New York and Porterhouse cuts are gone on the opening menu; and remember, beef is tough to source right now, so that makes sense).
They were out of prime rib on our visit, but it’s listed on the menu. The five core steaks have been pared down to three: the 10-ounce prime rib ($20), a 10-ounce sirloin pub steak ($21) and 8-ounce top sirloin ($18). Served with a side. The baked potato, fries, tots, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, steamed veggies, a cup of soup or house salad. Steaks are still served with a breadstick fresh from the oven!
What I love about the steaks here: the expert char on the beef during char broiling. Steaks arrive with sizzled edges and well-applied seasoning, much like my other favorite steak destination in Tacoma (and Puyallup), the Loose Wheel (which also has my favorite jojo potatoes in Pierce County).
The West End pub steak was marinated in the West End’s Jack Daniels marinade and topped with grilled mushrooms and onions. We asked for medium rare and got medium rare. The baked potato was topped with a giant channel of sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon and green onions. Still the best baked potato in Tacoma. Some things never change.
Burgers are just as big as they ever were, and the burger menu looks almost identical to the previous menu, save for the Hawaiian burger. Again, I love burgers with sizzled edges, but aren’t dried out and overdone. As always, the West End gets its bar burgers just right.
The West End is open daily for lunch and dinner, with weekend breakfast service. As always, kids are allowed until 10 p.m.
COLE’S IN RUSTON IS REOPENING
And now for the exciting news about Cole’s, the sister restaurant to the West End, Parkway, Hank’s and Terry’s Office Tavern. It’s reopening today, October 17, after more than six months of closure. This will be great news for parents in Ruston and Westgate: Kids are allowed for the first time.
As is the case at the West End (and most restaurants in town), the menu is scaled back. But here’s something interesting: Cole’s is planning to offer a kids meal. As for the regular menu, expect the usual appetizers, burgers, fish dishes and salads, but sandwiches aren’t back on the menu just yet. Cole’s will be closed on Mondays for now, with hours from noon to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Sunday breakfast is served 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the rest of the menu served Sundays from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Kids are welcome until 8 p.m.
NOTE: These openings are just in time for Restaurant Rally, a Pierce County program dine out program on Nov. 8-12 and Nov. 15-19 that will raise big money for restaurants and all you have to do is dine out. Read more about that here.
WEST END PUB
Where: 3840 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-759-2896
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. weekends. Breakfast served weekends only from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Kids: As always, kids allowed until 10 p.m.
Where: 5811 N. 51st St., Ruston; 253-267-1914
Hours: Noon to 11 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; Sundays 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. with breakfast served Sundays only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Closed Mondays for now.
Kids: Kids are welcome until 8 p.m.
CUERNO BRAVO NOW OPEN IN TACOMA
NOW OPEN: A high-end steakhouse like we’ve never had before in Tacoma. Read more about that here.