The Parkway Tavern

16 Feb

You know it, you love it. We meet a few of you and enjoy some beers at the Parkway Tavern.

The Parkway Tavern…best beer selection in Tacoma. ’nuff said.

On Historical Landmarks Not So Historical

You know, I in good conscience could have ended the post there. The Parkway beer selection alone is good enough to make it a worthwhile destination. Even if the place had only one bathroom, wobbly tables, and a staff consisting of one Brett Michaels I would still consider it a wonderful stop along the Gritty City Express. Not long ago that was a frighteningly close description of this bar-in-a-house, but the Parkway has become so much more in just the past eight or nine years in which I’ve been privy to its existence. Once a grimy space-challenged room with few taps and low popcorn ceilings, the Parkway is now a shiny cathedral for hop worshippers to pay homage to the religion that is craft beer.

Oat Soda

The beer selection at the Parkway is fantastic. The rotation is usually host to more than a few excellent seasonal taps (I was delighted to see some of my favorite barley wines on this visit), some interesting imports, and a large selection of NW favorites. There are usually one or two beers on tap that have never before graced a Tacoma beer list, and It’s certainly a rare day that you will step into the Parkway and not see something new. The enormous gap between the Parkway and every other bar in Tacoma has been considerably lessened by the ever expanding tap list at The Red Hot, but I am always consistently surprised by the shear number of Amazing beers at The Parkway. This tap list is still tops in T Town. Don’t even mention the Alehouse. That place is nasty.


I would call it “bar food” if not for that fact that in Parkway verbiage bar equals excellence, which this is not. This can just be called “food.” If it were examined completely out of context we might say it’s passable, but we’re holding this place to a higher standard. The cheeseburger dip is ok and the quesadilla is as good an alcohol sponge as any, but it’s just nothing special. Over the years I’ve had just about everything on that menu, and just about everything has the same eau de canola oil. Why Parkway? Why must you taunt us with such marvelous drink only to provide us with such humdrum eats? Everything else about this place is special, but the food just isn’t. If you find yourself three quarters of the way through a Great Divide Old Ruffian and need some food to help sop up the mess, go with the chicken quesadilla. If you’re sticking with the lighter drink get the corn.


In addition to simply being the purveyors of fabulous beer, the Parkway is also host to regular brewers nights and seasonal beer celebrations like the summer IPA festival. The events have become hugely popular affairs, and we definitely recommend getting here early to get a table.

The Wrap

Oh Parkway, let me count the ways:

  1. Your beer selection is godly. F**k wine, Jesus would have turned water into beer had he visited the Parkway first.
  2. You have embraced the bizarre in your wonderfully out of place zebra room. Was your interior designer chasing the dragon that day, or is there a deep seeded lust in you for the safari?
  3. Shuffleboard. So much fun.
  4. The badass cathedral ceilings and bar.
  5. You events are rockin. Keep it up.
  6. Big Buck Hunter
  7. Your hipster bartender’s moustache, although not as impressive as it once was
  8. The people that frequent the Parkway, including the very helpful folks we caught up with. Thanks guys for imbuing us with your immense Parkway knowledge.
  1. Your food. It needs an overhaul. Think simple, but flavorful. Go have a sandwich at the Top of Tacoma and you’ll understand. Burgers can be badass without being huge. (But huge AND badass are particularly badass)


As always, mention us and get…nothing! But corn is only $2

The Parkway Tavern
313 North I Street Tacoma, WA 98403
(253) 383-8748

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4 Responses to “The Parkway Tavern”

  1. shannon matthews February 16, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    The food at the Parkway is as depressing as my continued quest for great slice of pizza in TTown. I couldn’t agree more that a great place such as this needs a menu that is equal to if not better (I know, hold your breath) than the brew selection. Creativity and a good palate would do this place a world of good in writing a great menu. Something that has to be done. And with that, as my boy Ronald Reagan said, and I say to the owners, parkway tavern owners, tear up that menu…

  2. S February 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    The food is seriously lacking. I never go there because of the food. I can’t really go for ‘dinner’ because nothing really fits the bill of ‘dinner’ there. We would go more often if they had more substantial food that was more fitting of being called a meal.

  3. Maxwell February 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Best beer selection? Cmon. Its a good selection at best.

    • Derrick February 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      Where’s your favorite Tacoma tap list?

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