Three Tacoma bars have recently closed.  One is ready to return

Three Tacoma bars have recently closed. One is ready to return

Three Tacoma bars have recently closed.  One is ready to return

Edison City, South Tacoma’s only beer-focused bar and bottle shop, closed on June 15.

The News Tribune

In a flurry of changes since late spring, the future of two Tacoma neighborhood bars is on the line, while a third has new owners.


Patrick Haight and Nuri Aydinel have sold The Camp Bar, their themed outdoor venue near the city centre. Opened in 2017, the modern dive was known in part for tableside s’mores and karaoke nights.

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Two brothers, Mike and Matt Murray, and their friend, Dean Smith-Richard, took the reins. The bar is currently closed as they put their stamp on the space, although they plan to keep the overall theme.

“Camp Bar is not going away. It’s just paused and will start as it should,” Haight and Aydinel wrote on May 31.

In a message, Haight said they want to improve their work-life balance, which has become even more tenuous since 2022, when they opened Camp West, a similarly themed bar and restaurant in West’s longtime home 5 from Seattle. Aydinel is also a co-founder of Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya, which operates more than a dozen locations in several states, including one at the Tacoma Mall.

“Working in Tacoma has really been a positive experience for me,” said Haight, a veteran of the local hospitality industry. “The locals were hesitant about a guy coming from his Seattle roots, but eventually I was accepted and had a loyal following.”

He noted the many parties and fundraisers hosted at the bar over the years, as well as the challenge of operating in an area that lacked a distinct personality.

“There’s a movement now with all the development in our area to call it ‘Midtown,’ which I hope will come in the next few years,” he added of several new blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on what Murray and Smith-Richard have planned for 1310 Tacoma Avenue South.


While the north side has great brewpubs like The Parkway and Peaks and Pints, Edison City has been a rare haven for “Tacoma’s freshest brew” south of Interstate 5. The only brewpub and store bottle shop in South Tacoma was closed after work last Saturday, June. 15.

Owners Michael Gruber and Sausha Lynn announced the decision on Instagram last month, hinting that the property had been sold and the new owner’s lease offer “wasn’t something we could, in good conscience and in good conscience, enter into “.

Gruber operated a local cleaning business before purchasing Edison City Alehouse, its original name, in 2022 from founders Andrew Babcock and Robert Bessey. It opened in 2015 at 5602 South Lawrence Street, a few blocks east of the South Tacoma Way neighborhood around 56th Street, which looks a lot different today than it did nearly a decade ago.

Edison City was a rare haven in South Tacoma for clean taps and coolers well stocked with specialty cans and bottles. It closed on June 15. Kristine Sherred The News Tribune

“We love Edison and had no plans or desire not to be here,” Gruber and Lynn wrote on May 24. “This was a passion project from the start and we enjoyed all the hard work and all the creativity. We are proud of the progress we have made in recent years.”

In recent months, they’ve expanded the bar counter to offer more seating, added spirits and cocktails, and welcomed a resident restaurant to Sandwich Starr.

Over the last couple of weeks, regulars have been back to scoop up discount coolers. On Saturday, they gathered one last time for the last cask – among them high-alcohol, barrel-aged delights – and limited-edition bottles. What’s next for the space has yet to be announced, but state business records for the address show a recent listing for ECA Hospitality, linked to Amenpreet Khela and Ishwinder Singh of SeaTac.

The blue rose

Blue Rose replaced Stink/El Tufo last summer at 628 St. Helens Ave. Owner Danny Puskarcik had bought the combination wine and sandwich shop from Jenny Smith and Steve Ramsay, who had run it since 2018. It closed at the end of April.

Puskarcik revamped the aesthetic, bringing in Moroccan-style pendant lighting, deepening the walls with a shade of greenery and highlighting local artists. While the focus on sandwiches remained, he hoped to turn it into a casual neighborhood bar with wine, cocktails, beer and later hours.

Danny Puskarcik closed The Blue Rose at the end of April. Future 628 St. Helens Ave. remains unknown as a deal to take over a new business fell through. Brian Hayes [email protected]

He first shared the closing announcement on Instagram. “I wanted more than anything to create a space that I would enjoy going to. A place that reflects who I am. I feel like that’s done and I’m really proud of what the team here and I have built,” he wrote. It was especially challenging, he added, because he didn’t have a business partner and has two young children.

“I am heartbroken to close the doors of the Blue Rose, but I have to do what is best for my family and my own mental health and well-being.”

In a message, he said a sale is in the works and hopes to have more to share after the deal closes. Unfortunately, it fell, so the future of this space remains up in the air.

The space has two distinct rooms, each with its own entrance: one was an over-21 bar, while the other was all-ages with a deli-style kitchen. It has no hood, which limits the range of foods that can be prepared without major upgrades. The two units are also interconnected with others on either side of this 1920s brick building.

Kristine Sherred joined The News Tribune in December 2019 after a decade in Chicago, where she worked for restaurants, a liquor wholesaler, a food bookstore and an award-winning food journalist. She previously covered the business for Industry Dive and William Reed. Find her on Instagram @kcsherred.
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