Tacoma Dome District
The Tacoma Dome district is the city’s transportation hub: light rail, Sounder, Amtrak and Greyhound buses all converge here. “The Link has been a real boon for the neighborhood,” says photographer Rick Semple, who owns property in the area, “and there’s progress being made to connect this neighborhood to downtown as part of a Foss promenade. Once that happens, we’ll see lots of development.” Evidence of this being another Tacoma neighborhood in transition: the new overpass linking the district to Dock Street condos. On Puyallup Avenue, light industrial businesses now sit side by side artist studios; proximity to the port provides a distinctly gritty vibe.
1. 430 East 25th Street Freighthouse Square (253.305.0678) A three block-long indoor mall containing dozens of small shops and galleries. Plus an international food court. My favorite find: a messenger bag made of recycled juice boxes at Global Creations.
2. 402 Puyallup Avenue Alfred’s Café (253.627.5491) A little bit of everything: retro diner, traditional chophouse and full-service saloon. The bar is vintage 1800, made of rare zebra mahogany. A diverse crowd gathers for comfort food and drink.
3. 102 Puyallup Avenue Dragonfly (253.383.3200) Siblings Rollie Nelson and Stephanie Schellenberg outgrew their retail space in Gig Harbor and moved here in July. They’ve transformed a former tire shop into a beautiful, modern space filled with Asian imports. [Things change: this store is now located at 1744 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma]
4. 301 Puyallup Avenue Mineral (253.250.7745) Jewelry designer (and City Arts contributor) Lisa Kinoshita has an exquisite gallery in the small front room of her studio space. She showcases her own collection and hosts exhibits of other artists’ work.
5. 110 East 26th Street Almond Roca (253.620.3067) Stop by the corner candy store and satisfy your sweet tooth. This is the original (since 1912) Brown & Haley factory. Featuring all things buttercrunch toffee, even Roca ice-cream topping.
On E. 26th Street: 306 Funkoma Vintage Hip clothes | 308 Friesenburgers All-American | 324 Tacoma Book Center Read more | 402 Mystic Mocha New Age lattes | 410 Hawthorne House Old stuff | 602 Katy’s Antique Mall Treasure hunt | 2601 E. D Street Crystal Voyage Wellness center | 505 Puyallup Avenue ReStore Home improvements.