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McMenamins Eyes Tacoma Property | Top Chef Alum Opening Vashon Island Restaurant

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

Tacoma Elks Lodge
Tacoma Elks Lodge
Courtesy of McMenamins

TACOMA—€”McMenamins, the company behind 54 pubs, restaurants, and hotels in the Northwest, is currently undertaking a $32 million renovation of downtown Tacoma's 100-year-old Elks Lodge. When it's complete in 2017, the property will include 46 hotel rooms with private bathrooms (a feature that's not a given at other McMenamins); a ballroom for live music, events, and weddings; three restaurants; several small bars; a McMenamin's brewery; a garden for the restaurant; and an outdoor cafe and patio.

WHITE CENTER—Hotly anticipated Bok A Bok Fried Chicken will land on June 1 in White Center. The restaurant will serve Korean fried chicken alongside biscuits. Expect a range of fried chicken parts, including wings, feet, and breast. Other menu items will include rice bowls and fried chicken sandwiches with accoutrements like green onion aioli, kimchi, and pickled radishes. There will also be take-out available, with the option of ordering up to 100 wings with biscuits, sides, sauces, and kimchi. On the drinks side, expect soju slushies with seasonal flavors.

VASHON ISLAND—€”Sleepy Vashon Island will soon be home to a new restaurant called Bramble House, and there's some impressive pedigree behind the opening. Owner Lia Lira is a former Top Chef contestant ("I was on the third season, but that was ages ago now," she says) and 20-year industry veteran. Lira has spent time in New York working at the River Cafe and Jean-Georges Restaurants as a trainer on the corporate team and later as culinary director.

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