Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mandolin Café goes gourmet

Mandolin Café, known for its in-house coffee roasting and live music, will unveil new menu items in early July. Staff will serve dishes such as a Vegetarian Sweet Potato Sandwich, Tamale Casserole and Pasta with Clam Sauce from the restaurant’s new kitchen. Located on South 12th Street near Proctor, the restaurant’s expansion into the former Valhalla Coffee Roaster space will allow the popular community gathering place to serve a more diverse, made-to-order menu. Owners Creig and Marla Kostoff received an $82,276 from Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority to help finance the expansion. As a part of the loan agreement, the restaurant will hire three full-time and one part-time employees. The remodel also includes the addition of a second bathroom and an enlarged banquet room that will seat up to 30. For more information, contact Genal Gavaldon at or (253) 591-5213.

New dining options on Tacoma Ave.

There’s new life coming to Tacoma Avenue! SideBar Bistro will open at 1101 Tacoma Avenue South by the beginning of September at the site of the former Kelly’s Restaurant in the historic Samuel Robertson building. Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority will support this new venture with a $150,000 low-interest loan that owners Thomas and JoAnna Irick will pay back over the next five years. The loan will help to provide working capital and finance improvement and equipment purchases for the restaurant. Job creation is one of the requirements of this type of loan, and SideBar Bistro will create six new full-time positions to help run the restaurant.

The site of the former Kelly’s Restaurant in the historic Samuel Robertson building has been vacant for the past five years. The new owners have completely remodeled the building and will occupy legal offices on the upper floors. SideBar Bistro will offer made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, healthy salads and comforting soups as well as delivery and take-out and espresso, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, contact Genal Gavaldon at or (253) 591-5213.

The Irick’s, who since 2005 have operated the Hot Rod Dog at 1742 Pacific Ave. in the Old West Coast Grocery Building across from Union Station, will receive another $50,000 loan to expand that business. They will add sandwiches and paninis to their menu at the Pacific Ave. location, and will open a new Hot Rod Dog location next to SideBar Bistro. Hot Rod Dog will hire two additional full-time employees as part of that loan agreement.

Developers: Apply for RC tax deduction through Aug. 17

Developers who are looking for a competitive advantage can apply for Tacoma’s Commercial Revitalization Deduction (CRD) allocation. The City will grant the $12 million allocation of federal tax deductions to projects located in the Renewal Community Zone, which includes most of Tacoma’s downtown core, the Port area, Upper Tacoma and a portion of the city’s East side.

New construction and substantially rehabilitated projects that creates space for new jobs qualify for the tax credit. Any single project can qualify for up to $10 million for the credit, which can result in an accelerated depreciation schedule, and therefore, a lower tax bill. The financial relief comes early in the construction process when projects have higher expenses. As one of the nation’s urban Renewal Communities, Tacoma receives the CRD allocation annually from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Unless Congress extends it, this is the final year for the program, so buildings have to be in service by the end of 2010.

Pacific Plaza, Rainier Connect, Thea’s Landing, Ted Brown Music Building, Albers Mill, Marriott Courtyard, Rainier Pacific, Fraternity Hall, Shuffleboard building, Atrium Court, Bridge Lofts, Carlile Transportation Systems freight facility, McFarland Cascade shipping center, Sun-In trans-load facility, First Swedish Baptist Church building, the Kress-Payless, Ford building and auditorium and the Foss Landing building are all projects that have been awarded a CRD allocation.

Applications are available beginning July 6 and are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 17 and are available at through the Community and Economic Development Department, 747 Market St., Room 900, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or contact Debbie Bingham at (253) 591-5117 or,