Rhein Haus, the massive German beer and bocce hall on 12th Avenue, opened its Tacoma outpost on Saturday — and it was an instant hit, apparently. As is often the case at the Central District location, the line stretched down the block and the wait for a table was more than an hour, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
As with the Seattle spot, the Tacoma outpost serves housemade brats, pretzels, and more, paired with a long list of German, Austrian, and American lagers. There are also indoor bocce courts. The expansion south was announced back in June 2015.
“We have long thought about opening a second Rhein Haus in the greater Seattle area; it’s our home, and we love the community that has supported us since opening,” said Rich Fox, managing owner of Rhein Haus, in a statement. “Tacoma is bustling; there is a raw and very community-centric feel to the city that aligns with Rhein Haus perfectly, and we can’t wait to open our doors here.” This isn’t the first expansion for the company; a Denver location opened in 2015.
True to form, Rhein Haus Tacoma sprawls over 13,000 feet and includes two bars, four full-sized bocce courts, a wood-burning fireplace, twelve televisions and a large drop-down screen, and a 1,065 square-foot patio.
Kelly Wilson, former chef de cuisine at Rhein Haus Seattle, is overseeing the Tacoma kitchen. Much of the food is made from scratch, including baked goods like pretzels, donuts, buns, rye bread crisps, and pizza dough as well as a large selection of Bavarian wursts, smoked meats, and hard-to-find specials like Leberkäse (think bologna sausage) and Döner Kebabs (a Turkish-German specialty similar to a gyro). The restaurant promises a weekend brunch is launching “shortly after opening.”
Rhein Haus Tacoma revamped the former Titus-Will auto repair and showroom building. The new space has some pretty cool touches: Belgian wood doors, crystal chandeliers from Vienna, reclaimed Sea-Tac streetlights, four post lights from actor Michael Douglas’ former home, and green enamel sconces from an old Tacoma factory. See inside with a photo gallery from Tacoma Weekly.
649 Division Avenue, Tacoma, (253) 572-4700, website. Open Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday noon to 2 a.m.; Sunday noon to 11 p.m.