Stanford’s opening in Pacific Grill space in downtown Tacoma
A steakhouse called Stanford’s is coming to downtown Tacoma.
If all goes as planned, Stanford’s will open in late fall at 1502 Pacific Ave.,the former home of Pacific Grill.
Stanford’s is a Northwest-founded restaurant known for a classic steak-and-chop menu offering four steak options, grilled seafood, pasta, sandwiches and a cult following for its focaccia cheese bread.
Pacific Grill, which closed in September, operated at 1502 Pacific Ave. from 2005 to 2020 and was among a flurry of restaurants and other developments that transformed downtown Tacoma into an entertainment and retail destination. Restaurant watchers have kept a close eye on the space, hoping that the Waddell Building would once again hold another restaurant.
“Ascend Hospitality Group is bringing beloved Northwest steakhouse Stanford’s to Tacoma, reviving and honoring the space of the Pacific Grill and the historic Waddell Building,” said Erin James, the marketing and media manager for Bellevue-based Ascend Hospitality Group that operates Stanford’s, Famous Dave’s franchises and Bellevue’s Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi (among other concepts).
“AHG rescued the restaurants from bankruptcy with Restaurants Unlimited with plans to reinvigorate and elevate the 30-year-old restaurant concept. Like all things in these last 15 months, covid put a bit of a wait on this process but we are getting closer,” said James, via message.
Stanford’s is rooted in the Northwest. It was founded in Oregon in 1990 by Pacific Coast Restaurants and was a sibling restaurant concept to Newport Bay, the seafood chain. It struggled through ownership changes the last decade. Restaurants Unlimited Inc. merged with Pacific Coast Restaurants in 2007. It was a bumpy ride until 2019, when RUI claimed bankruptcy and was bought by Landry’s. The RUI restaurants were parted out. Enter Ascend Hospitality Group, which bought four Stanford’s locations and Portland Seafood Company.
One of those Stanford’s is in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood. The other three are in Oregon.
The menu at Stanford’s is steeped in beef, but it’s not in the same food group as El Gaucho, the downtown Tacoma steak destination built for celebrations and fat expense accounts. The price point at Stanford’s is easier to digest. Consider Stanford’s something more akin to Tacoma’s Stanley & Seafort’s, which makes sense because Stanley’s also was a former RUI restaurant (that’s now owned by Landry’s.)
The Northgate location’s menu boasts a trio of steaks – filet mignon ($36.95), a ribeye ($31.95) and top sirloin ($27.95), plus a daily offering of rock salt roasted prime rib ($31.95-$37.95). Steak dinners come with a choice of potatoes and vegetables, so this is not an a la carte style of steakhouse.
The menu also offers ribs ($19.95-$28.95) and a menagerie of items typical of a steak-and-chop house, such as two kinds of linguini with either chicken or prawns ($16.95), beer battered fish and chips ($20.95), grilled salmon ($27.95) and pepper bacon mac and cheese ($15.95). The menu hits lower price points, too, with burgers, a prime rib sandwich and chicken clubhouse ranging from $15.95 to $19.95. Read the rest of the menu here.
Ascend is no stranger to Tacoma, it operates the Famous Dave’s on 72nd.
Where: 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Opening: Late this fall, if all goes as planned
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