Favorite and most popular restaurants “Olympia” are now closed.


Falls Terrace, an iconic restaurant in Tamwater that overlooks Tamwater Falls, is still closed. The voicemail said: “We are currently closed and hope to open soon.”

Rolf Boone

Last week The Olympian asked readers who the former restaurants were in the Olympia area you miss the most, no matter how long it has been closed. With more than 150 responses to online surveys and more than 300 responses on social media on The Olympian’s Facebook page, readers recalled the losses of regional restaurants, both old and new.

Some miss the eateries that closed during the first few months of the 2020 pandemic, including Dillinger , Easy and Cooper Point Public House.

One of the most frequently named restaurants was Falls Terraceknown for many generations as Tumwater Falls Restaurant or simply The Falls.

Falls Terrace, a favorite for celebrating special occasions and holidays, and the best choice for honored guests from the city, Falls Terrace features upscale dining with unique views of Tamwater Falls from tables in the main dining room.

“Stunning views of Tamwater Falls, great seafood and a great atmosphere,” Jessica wrote in her response to the survey.

“It was a special place,” Bernie Stanman wrote. “It’s great to eat while watching the water cascade – it’s really Zen.”

An early victim of the pandemic, Falls Terrace was closed in 2020, and parking is still used as an overflow for the coming Brewery Park at Tamwater Falls.

Several survey respondents said Falls Terrace represents something personal to them and its closure seems to be the end of an era.

“When we moved here in 1978, there wasn’t much of a touring scene,” Helen Presley writes. “Every time my people visited, we always went to Falls Terrace for our visits, birthdays and the like. Now my people are gone, and Falls Terrace too. I will always miss them. “

But wait, there is good news: the restaurant is expected to reopen. Falls Terrace owner Daniel Vavrinets is working to repair the plant and has problems with supply chains Said the Olympian earlier this week. But he has no time when the restaurant will reopen.

Olympia city center

In the center of Olympia you told us about many favorite places where you can buy sandwiches, seafood and more 5th Ave Sandwich Shop, Darby, Waterstreet Cafe and Bar and more.

Co-owner Sarah Reilly greets the family during Saturday morning breakfast at Darby’s restaurant in the Thurston First building in downtown Olympia. Tony Overman toverman@theolympian.com

Many of you have also mentioned the disappearance of Ben Moore, now owned by South Puget Sound Public College as a venue and called Percival Place in Ben Moore. It remains closed.

Quality burritowhich temporarily closed during the pandemic, hopes to reopen this summer.

Some complained about the loss of one of the most beautiful Italian places in Olympia, Thirteen.

“The best pasta I’ve ever eaten in my life,” Julie wrote of the downtown favorite, now closed, who made up for her tiny space with an appetizing selection of homemade dishes and wines. “Perfect portions. Delicious cannoli and wine. Small and intimate.

Quite a lot was mentioned about the favorite barbecue in the city center, Ramblin ‘Jack’swhich stopped in 2018. The popular gathering place for working groups, family reunions and rendezvous is still lacking.

“A very special addition to the Olympia Center,” wrote Karen L. “Everything was fine!” My favorite was pork. But everything I tried was very good. And there was a great atmosphere. “

The return of memories

Some of the most nostalgic stuff was about Jo Mama’s, the family’s favorite pizza and pasta on State Avenue with a homely atmosphere and affordable prices. Others mentioned Crackers, a long-standing American standard food and beverage establishment that dominated the downtown restaurant for most of the 1980s and 1990s. It eventually turned into a nightclub restaurant before closing.

Readers liked the crackers of the late hours, the unusual menu, created in the style of the Marx brothers, and the elegant interior.

Some other deeply nostalgic mentions are included Carnegie in the old library building on Seventh and Franklin as well Seven gablesboth are unique Olympia in its eclectic yet elegant atmosphere and historic setting.

Brown Davis Derbyor Brown Derby for locals, has also been mentioned quite a few times, although it closed its doors in 1980. The popular eatery combined the charm of the Americana showcase with consistently high quality food and service.

“I’ve been to eateries all over America, and have never been to one approaching the quality of the Brown Derby,” Doug Riedels wrote in the survey. “Best known for Mrs. Davis’ famous clam soup, they also had freshly baked cakes and pies, homemade bread, a great breakfast and the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten.

“There was usually a queue to sit at a small bar, as crazy chefs and waiters treated their customers,” Riedels continued. “It was a place of legend.”

Some readers recalled major events in life that took place there.

“Brown Derby Davis, where my husband made an offer 45 years ago,” Anne Lasko-Harville commented on the Olympian’s Facebook page.

Apollo was often mourned, as it were Acqua Viawhich closed in 2015.

“The food was unique, fresh, delicious, beautifully presented, great bar, great staff,” complained Mary Maggie in her response to the survey. “Everything a local place should be.”

Acqua Via
After eight years of operation, the restaurant in the center of Olympia, Acqua Via, has closed. Rolf Boone Olympian

Painful losses from the pandemic

There were many who said that losing certain places is more than food. Readers talked about their love for beer, onion rings, cutlets and polite hosts on Cooper Point Public House. It closed in late 2020.

“I liked the energy of this place – the owners worked so hard to save it,” Lonnie Mead wrote in the poll.

There were also mentions of the missing Mesa Charter and Mediterranean breeze. One of the often mentioned favorites, Dillinger, fell victim to a pandemic.

“I moved to Nevada for 3 years, and when I came back, I was very excited to go there again!” Nicole Grant stated on Facebook. “It was March 1, 2020. The world closed in 9 days. I never got my chance. “

Exterior of the now closed Hart’s Mesa restaurant. Steve Bloom sbloom@theolympian.com

Among the few favorite pizzerias mentioned was Izzy’s, which announced in mid-2021 that it would close forever.

“Great hosts, delicious fresh food,” Marie Blair Bochanek commented on Facebook about the popular family restaurant, known for its pizza and buffet. “Cheerful memories. I miss them so much. “

Another patron, who called it only Diana, noted that it is one of the last restaurants in the area.

Other restaurants you miss

In Olympia there were a few mentions of some other places, including Genoa’s, El Nopal, Cicada’s, JJ North, Oly Rock Fish Grill, Mini Saigon, Capital Mall’s Pints ​​and Quarts, The Gyro Spot, Kitzel’s, Dino’s Diner, Shakey’s, Sweet Oasis, The Asterisk, Smithfield Cafe, Peppers Mexican Restaurant, Wally’s Sandwich Bar and more.

Readers of other restaurants in the area say they are bored, including Cancun Plaza, Mandarin House, Hans on College Street, Native New Yorker, Rib Eye, Schlotzky’s, Sizzler, Touch of Europe, Norma’s, Godfather’s Pizza, The Pizza Place, Paulie G’s , Royal Fork, Flavor Nook, Norm’s Drive In, Pacos Tacos and Hawks Prairie Restaurant.

Finally, readers also miss Miguel’s and Mason Jar, as well as Point Tavern.

This story was originally published June 3, 2022 12:12.

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Genevieve Belmaker is an award-winning journalist and author who joined McClach as editor of public journalism in 2022. She graduated from the University of Southern California and studied journalism at New York University.

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