KFnet in T-Town

Feb. 2, 2008 at 5:29pm

Ghost of Restaurant's Past

R.I.P. St. Helens Cafe

Kinda' sucks when you're reminded of something you can no longer have via a mailer.

Yea, that one arrived just a bit late. St. Helens Cafe, we miss you. Certainly it wasn't great enough to pull us back as often as may have been necessary to help keep them open but it was always a worthy option. The food was great along with the service. I look forward to something else in this spot (Harmon II, perhaps?) but certainly hope they've learned from St. Helens' mistakes. Use that space up wisely and whatever is in there will shine.

comments [17]  |  posted under coupon, restaurant, st helens cafe, tacoma

Comments

by Erik on 2/2/2008 @ 5:33pm
I think Pat Nagle will pretty easily turn it into a hopping pizza place which he intends to do.

There are a ton of people within walking distance. They already know to do many of the things at the Harmon. The restaurants that seem to do the best in Tacoma lately are often the ones who have other restaurants going well with similar models.

by izenmania on 2/2/2008 @ 6:06pm
It's a place I never made it out to. It would definitely be cool to have a place nearby with the Harmon brews on tap (and yeah, I know the Harmon is not that far, but... even closer).

by morgan on 2/2/2008 @ 10:40pm
Pizza place? Isn't there already a pizza place nearby?

by KevinFreitas on 2/2/2008 @ 11:01pm
Seriously, I can't say I'm excited to hear that it might be a pizza place. Maybe something like a steak house and bar would work. PSP's got pizza in the neighborhood covered really well and I think this corner of town could really use someone who serves a good slab of meat.

by urbanX on 2/3/2008 @ 1:19am
it's tough to find a truly good burger in downtown but i haven't been to the newer burger place on pacific yet....
So no plans for the speakeasy in that space?
so who is paying to build out the mecca speakeasy space? is it on hold?

by Erik on 2/3/2008 @ 1:37am
PSP's got pizza in the neighborhood covered really well and I think this corner of town could really use someone who serves a good slab of meat.

I see your point. However, I think Pat anticipates that there is a lot of growth potential in the pizza market which he is probably right about. Compare that to fish and chips.

by Erik on 2/3/2008 @ 1:40am
it's tough to find a truly good burger in downtown but i haven't been to the newer burger place on pacific yet....

Oh no. You missed out on the flash mob there and it is right across the street from you.

www.kevinfreitas.net/journal/marys-burge...

by intacoma on 2/3/2008 @ 8:36am
The big test is going to be the pizza, I acually never go to psp for pizza I love there breakfast way to much :)

by KevinFreitas on 2/3/2008 @ 8:55am
it's tough to find a truly good burger in downtown...

urbanX: Definitely give Mary's a try along with Friesenburger over on 26th. Both totally worthy spots to get your grease on.

by AP on 2/3/2008 @ 9:02am
I need gourmet sandwiches. By chance, did anyone here ever go to the Raindancer Sandwich shop(s) in the Seattle U-District in the 90's before they closed up shop? They began near 42nd & Roosevelt, not far from the legendary Last Exit coffee shop (well before the espresso craze had taken hold), then moved to The Ave and then closed a couple years later. It was a truly religious experience for my agnostic appetite. This caliber of sandwich offering has not been matched anywhere since.

To clarify: when I say gourmet sandwiches, I am NOT talking about grinders, red sauce, etc. and I am NOT talking about sliced deli meats and hoagie rolls. If any interest turns up on this topic, I will break out their old menu that I have safely encased in plastic sheeting.

by KevinFreitas on 2/3/2008 @ 9:32am
AP: Are there any spots around town you'd say do gourmet sandwiches? Commencement Bay? Rosewood? MSM? ;)

I really think either a steakhouse or family friendly American food kinda' place would work best at the former St. Helens spot.

by AP on 2/3/2008 @ 9:42am
I'd say a lot of places have one or two gourmet sandwiches on the menu, but none are specializing in the art of sandwich making (no offense, Subway!). In fairness, I haven't been to Commencement Bay. If you are vegan, I suppose Rosewood might turn your crank? MSM does classic deli sandwiches as good as can be done - they are delicious.

The concern I have is that Tacoma has added too many sit-down restaurants too fast. I would love a steakhouse as much as the next guy; I just can't see them sustaining without hefty takeout revenue in that neighborhood. Asado and El Gaucho, not to mention 1/2 dozen others around downtown, have seemingly locked up the steak crowd.

One more comment on this thread, and I'm digging out my menu! No more idle threats!

by jenyum on 2/3/2008 @ 9:46am
There is a need for more real delivery. That is, in-house delivery for full lunch and dinner hours, with a decent service area. I hope that if they plan to do delivery, they really plan to do it.

by AP on 2/3/2008 @ 10:09am
Agreed. There is definitely a food delivery shortage in Tacoma, but for good reason. Food delivery is a super tough gig to pull off. People want delivery but they don't want to pay for it. Increasing gas prices and traffic make it very NON-cost-effective for those trying to perform this service.

Any idea how to make this more feasible for restaurateurs? I'm thinking a company can specialize in just the delivery portion, leaving the food preparation to the restaurants. Problem is, I don't think the health dept would go for it - I've heard of people trying this in the past....

by jenyum on 2/3/2008 @ 10:39am
There is a local company that does that, Letzeatnow.com

It does take more time and more money, but it's nice for the occasional non pizza/Chinese food delivery.

North China Garden has been the only Chinese restaurant around with in-house delivery for some time now. They seem to be doing pretty well, I think they're working on their second expansion in three years.

by Erik on 2/3/2008 @ 11:24am
There is a need for more real delivery. That is, in-house delivery for full lunch and dinner hours, with a decent service area. I hope that if they plan to do delivery, they really plan to do it.

I think PSP has a modest delivery ability.

by ensie on 2/4/2008 @ 9:52am
Pizza delivery is a given. I think we're talking about other food delivery options. Chinese is a good start, but most cities have a lot of delivery options.

I can't tell you the number of times I've thought, "Takeout would be fantastic," only to be presented with two options - pizza and Chinese food.

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