A fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant is headed for downtown's old Sea Grill space, at the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 15th Street.
“This is authentic Mediterranean cuisine,” said Chip Venzone, the new restaurant’s general manager. Venzone was the general manager of Pacific Grill, across the street, for more than three years before taking this job.
“The people that will be instrumental in menu design and creation and prep are well-traveled in the Mediterranean and are experienced in the preparation of that food,” he said last week. “Turkish coffee will be served tableside. Spices will be imported.
“This concept it is literally unique in Tacoma,” Venzone said.
Sea Grill, owned by Seattle’s Mackay Restaurant Group, closed in May 2009 after it was unable to work out better lease terms with its then-landlord Rainier Pacific Bank. Mackay still owns El Gaucho, down the street. Rainier Pacific’s assets, including the headquarters building, were taken over last year by Oregon’s Umpqua Bank.
Zara Mediterranean will be owner Galazios Inc.’s first restaurant, Venzone said.
Venzone said he’s been able to negotiate great terms with vendors, so that the quality of dining will be high without being shockingly priced.