Story & Photos – Joseph Boyle
If you hang out at Starbucks enough, like I do, you can learn something new every day. Why just this morning, I talked to two different people who told me about Boathouse 19, a brand new restaurant in the University Place / Tacoma area.
The name cleverly includes two important clues as to the establishment’s location.
- Clue #1: Boathouse. The establishment is on the water. There must be a boathouse nearby.
- Clue #2: 19. That number will help you remember to take South 19th Street off Bridgeport Way W / Jackson Street all the way to the water.
You will not need GPS. When you cross the railroad tracks and pull into the Narrows Marina area (boathouse), look for the signs pointing right or to the North. There is it, built right on the waterfront overlooking the Narrows Marina, Puget Sound and the Narrows Bridge or should I say Narrows Bridges, plural?
Boathouse 19 – 253-565-1919 – 9001 South 19th St, Tacoma, Washington 98466
One of my Starbucks friends told me the place is already so popular, there was a big wait. My other friend told me he walked right in. The Hostess told me the timing of your visit is key.
The outside has a fun décor with Mercury and Johnson outboard motors standing in the planters. There is a big outside deck seating area. Inside is nicely set up with small tables, large group party tables and booth space. Everyone get’s a view.
My pal Jim told me he recently read a write-up that included this eatery in a top 10 list for best deserts. He specifically mentioned the banana split. I have not had one of those since my teenage years. This might just be my opportunity to eat young again.
Boathouse 19 is another Denny Driscoll out of the way destination restaurant. He owns the Lobster Shops on Ruston Way in Tacoma and Dash Point in addition to the Tanglewood Grill in Gig Harbor.
I have not tried Boathouse 19 yet, but you know I will. Check it out to see if you can have some major fun. Tell them the crew at The Suburban Times sent you.
Joseph Boyle says
I would like to add an epilog to my story. First, let’s talk about the parking. While there is ample parking spread out over a large two business parking lot, the parking is very specific. Do not park in the wrong place. Read all the signs. There are ample signs warning you that unauthorized or improperly parked vehicles are subject to being towed. There are signs telling you who gets to park where.
If you park as close as possible, you can park right next to the restaurant building on the down side of the hilly parking lot. Warning: If you park on the upside of the hill in line with the restaurant building, it is easy to get sucked in to having your vehicle towed. There are more of those brightly colored signs I referenced above, but a normal person is going to be lulled into thinking, “Since I am patronizing the restaurant, I am “authorized”. Check for some wood frame white board signs. The printing on these signs is so faded you cannot read them much better than you can from your house. If you get up close and stare at the signs they read, “Parking for Narrows Marina Employees Only”.
My next observation is that the parking is “blind parking”. By that I mean you are not able to park, sit and eat while keeping an eye on your vehicle. There are no windows that look out over the parking. You cannot see down the alley and around the corner.
So take your old car. Lock the car and turn on your car alarm. Do not leave any valuables in plain view. Valuables in plain view is like cheese for the rats. We call this kind of rat, a car prowler.
The next comment I received is that the din of conversation and the clattering of dishes makes for a very loud restaurant. After all, it is a nicely converted warehouse style building with little to no sound deadening. It was not noisy on the Sunday I was there at around 1130 a.m., but there was only a sparse number of guests.
Lastly, I have received comments that the food is just, “Ok”. Well, I am going to try it anyway to find out for myself. I enjoy the owner’s other restaurant food, so I am confident this waterfront establishment will get there too.
If you have a chance to visit Boathouse 19, let us know what you think.
Just took a look at their menu on line. Disappointed to see a lack of vegetarian options.
Ray Richardson says
Joe, we went down there a couple of weeks ago on a nice night. There was an hour wait for outside seating and the inside was unbearably loud, so we left. I’m anxious to hear what you think. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the place, but I am not fond of noise.