Pivoting for Winter: Restaurants Make the Most of Outdoor Spaces

Local restaurants are stepping up to meet the COVID-19 social-distancing challenge by revamping outdoor spaces to keep customers safe, warm, and happily fed.

Pint & Pie Public House

Courtesy of Pint & Pie Public House

If you care about using your carbs wisely in the new year, Pint & Pie Public House is here to help. The fledgling bar in the Stadium District is a new concept for Northwest Brewing Company, serving up its iconic beer in a rustic, cozy atmosphere. Northwest Brewing’s spacious, welcoming patio, affectionately referred to as “the Pie Hole,” boasts plenty of socially distanced seating, twinkle lights for ambience, and heaters to ward off the chill. Dogs are customers, too, so you don’t need to leave Fido behind as you leave home to socialize (safely) and enjoy a brew and dessert. Take-out and curbside delivery of food, wine, and beer are offered via its website.

Cooper’s Food & Drink

Photo by Bel Peterson

This new neighborhood eatery (the result of a complete building remodel) opened in Tacoma’s Westgate area in 2020. It’s got something for everyone — family-friendly seating in the main dining room and an adjacent stylish bar for the over-21 crowd. A garage door opens from the bar onto a cozy covered patio with a fireplace, heaters, and plenty of space where tables are arranged to keep diners (or drinkers) distanced. Like at many restaurants these days, you scan a QR code with your phone to see Cooper’s menu, which keeps service as contactless as possible. Stop in to sample Cooper’s comfort-food menu, complete with appetizers like nachos, pickle spears with house-made sauce, or tangy pulled-pork sliders. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, its marinated pub steak topped with a garlic and blue cheese compound butter or sophisticated truffle oil, brie, apple, and arugula pizza should fit the bill. Parking comes at a premium in this ‘hood, so families with kids or anyone trying to escape the rain will be happy to see the large parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. Call to order take-out, or arrange for delivery via its website.

Agave Cocina & Cantina

Photo by Deba Wagner

Anyone craving Mexican food in the Kent Station neighborhood can head to Agave Cocina & Cantina, where the covered patio is equipped with socially distanced tables, a fireplace, and heaters. Agave’s large menu of tasty Mexican dishes is accompanied by an impressive sipping-tequila menu (offering 150-plus choices — all the way up to the luxurious Gran Patrón Burdeos Añejo Tequila, famous for its ultra-smooth finish). Keep Agave Cocina in mind if you’re in the mood for weekend brunch — with a spicy twist. Vegetarians will appreciate the Omelet Vegetariano, filled with grilled veggies and covered with a creamy roasted-poblano hollandaise sauce. If you’re sticking close to home these days, Agave has you covered, too. Its popular “Dinner for 4” to-go bundles combine large portions of classic dishes, like shredded beef enchiladas or chicken tamales, with plenty of chips, rice, beans, and a choice of salsa (warning to rookies — the house-made tomatillo salsa doesn’t lack for heat!). You can add beer, wine, or a margarita kit to your to-go order, too.

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