Prost! Rhein Haus has successful Tacoma opening

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Tacoma finally gets something we never knew we needed- a wide-open, family-family Germanic beer hall. A year from now we will wonder how we ever lived without it.

For a little history, the Stadium district held The Bavarian for 26 years. I don’t know if German food has changed much since then, but the neighborhood certainly has – and has even more changes coming.

If you thought you knew pretzels or sausage or spaetzle or even schnitzel, you need to check out Tacoma’s German restaurant Rhein Haus. Picture Tacoma’s answer to Leavenworth – or Bavaria and Austria with a Northwest vibe. With food, games and drink – and tables for six, or eight – or more – this is the place for your German food and conviviality fix- a Bavarian-inspired restaurant with modern takes on classic German fare, 2 full bars, 24 drafts, 4 indoor bocce ball courts, and event spaces for 6 to 600.

Rhein Haus’ owners have a French restaurant in Seattle and a German restaurant in Denver. They wanted a location in Tacoma – it took them five years and a lot of searching to find just the right place at 649 Division Ave (near Wright Park, in the old Titus-Will dealership).

The restaurant opened February 18th, to large crowds and great success. If you are a fan of sausage (or want to become one) they have a full range of wurst (including vegetarian and even vegan) all made fresh and in-house. Breads and pretzels are also made on-site on a daily basis. They serve a giant share-able pretzel with multiple dipping sauces, including a spicy honey mustard sauce and obatzda, a Bavarian dip of soft cheese mixed with butter and a bit of beer, paprika and other seasonings.

Rhein Haus is a perfect (upscale) addition to Hess Bakery and German Pastry & Coffee Shop (both at 6108 Mt. Tacoma Drive SW, Lakewood) and Bruno’s European Restaurant (10902 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood). Rhein Haus is currently open from 4 to 11 p.m. daily, with plans to add a weekend brunch service soon. According to a post on their Facebook page, in the first five days they went through about 500 pounds of meat and over 20 kegs of beer, with some 5000 people being served- or the equivalent of about two weeks at their Seattle Capital Hill Rhein Haus.

The chefs at Rhein Haus are a bit more experimental than you might expect from a standard German eating establishment, but if you are willing to step into a taste experience, check out Schweinshaxe, Polish Kielbasa, or Grillwurst Schmankerl, you know where to go…


Rhein Haus Tacoma exterior Photo credit: Danielle Nease

Rhein Haus Tacoma exterior
Photo credit: Danielle Nease