You wouldn't know it from the streetscape, but inside, six South Sound restaurants are getting quite the remodel.
Tim Tweten, owner of South Sound Restaurant Group, said business is going well at his diners — sales are up more than 10 percent at Poodle Dog and about three percent at his other locations — and now is the time to invest.
“You have to stay fresh, so we're doing that,” he said. “I feel more comfortable with the economy now than I have in the past few years. That's probably the biggest driver.”
Another driving force, though, are his sons, who recently joined the family business.
“This is the third generation of our business,” Tweten said. “With all of those positive things, it's time to let out some line and keep growing our business.”
Their biggest location, the iconic Poodle Dog at 1522 54th Ave. E. in Fife, will be the focus of the remodeling, although customers will notice a change at each of the eateries, Tweten said.
The bar will be replaced and the restaurant's four banquet rooms, dining room, and coffee shop will be redone with new booths, flooring, lighting and wall treatments. There will also be extensive renovations in the kitchen, where the hood systems and cooking equipment will be replaced.
“It's a full monty kind of thing,” he said. “It will look gorgeous when we all get done.”
The gold, burgundy and brown furnishings in the dining area will be replaced with richer colors, including orange and light green, as well as stone, metal, and wood.
The $800,000 project will force Tweten to close the diner for a few days later this month, so the kitchen — the last phase of the remodel — can be redone.
More updates at SSRG eateries
Tweten's other restaurants will remain open, however, with construction work happening in the evening hours. He's investing a combined $850,000 on their renovations, which will introduce the same color scheme he's bringing to Poodle Dog.
The homey green and rose interior of the Hob Nob, located at 716 6th Ave. in Tacoma, will be replaced with the new floor treatments, as well as new booths, tables and chairs. Tweten said he's also updating the bathrooms, remodeling the bar, and doing extensive kitchen updates, including buying new equipment.
Walls will be coming down at Harvester Restaurant on Tacoma Ave. in Tacoma. Crews will be moving the bar from a back room to the bright green wall closer to the diner's entrance. The back room will be opened up to create one large dining area. Like the Hob Nob, the green and burgundy will be replaced with richer colors. Tweten said he is spending about $250,000 on this project.
New flooring and booths and a new bar at Burs Restaurant at 6151 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, also in Tacoma, will replace the mint- and tan-color theme with one that's more rustic, Tweten said. He's also planning to do some updates in the kitchen and purchase new warewashing (cleaning equipment).
Tweten said he will spend about $100,000 enclosing the deck and creating an atrium at Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery at 454 E Main Ave. in Puyallup. Staff will be able to open the enclosure during the summer and warmer months. The updates will add about 40 seats at the eatery.
Knapp's Restaurant, which was remodeled around 2010, Tweten said, will receive kitchen and bathroom renovations to the tune of about $100,000.
The work at all six restaurants should be complete by the end of September.