Restaurants, retail news lead most-read Journal story list for 2022
Our online readers love their restaurant and retail news.
Four of the stories on our most-read story list from 2022 involve places to eat – new restaurants opening, owners retiring, planned expansions. Three involve retail news.
Two of our top read stories of 2022 were from 2021: Amazon confirms plans to build two Pasco distribution centers (bit.ly/Amazonwarehouses) and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s menu coming to Kennewick (bit.ly/popeyes-Kenn). This makes sense since both projects moved from construction planning stages to actual buildings taking shape and generating excitement.
Here’s a look at the top news stories of 2022, according to tcjournal.biz readers:
- Old Sears store to welcome new tenant (bit.ly/SearsNewTenant): When the Kennewick Sears store closed in 2019, everyone wondered what would happen to the empty space at Columbia Center mall. Our October story outlined Joann’s plans to move its sewing and crafts store into a portion of the building. It’s set to open in April.
- Owners of Pasco’s oldest restaurant to retire (bit.ly/ChineseGardensRetire): Chinese Gardens at 1520 N. Fourth Ave. is Pasco’s oldest continuously operating restaurant since late founder Jack Lee opened it in 1965. Our April story reported on the popular eatery’s history and current owner Ted and Amy Wong’s plans to retire.
- Facing eviction, Veterans Thrift offers discounts to clear out store (bit.ly/VetThrift): We posted this story about Veterans Warehouse Thrift’s plans to clear its inventory in advance of eviction on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The store opened in 2021. Founder Thelbert M. “Thadd” Lawson Jr. said he hopes to open a new Tri-City location soon.
- Bookwalter launches Fable so Fiction restaurant can soar (bit.ly/BookwalterFiction): This April story reported on John Bookwalter’s plan to transform the former R.F. McDougall’s Irish Pub & Eatery into a mid-level restaurant, Fable, so his winery restaurant, Fiction, can focus on high-end fare. Construction is underway at the riverside location.
- Clover Island buyer plans micro apartments (bit.ly/CloverIslandbuyer): This January story outlined a Portland-area developer’s plan to convert the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick into micro-apartments. The deal later fell apart when the Port of Kennewick, which owns the land under the hotel, declined to sell it to Fortify Holdings.
- Prosser Memorial to break ground on $78 million hospital complex (bit.ly/PMHcomplex): This February story highlighted Prosser Memorial Health plans to replace its aging hospital with a $78 million hospital complex on 33 acres north of Interstate 82.
- Wanted: new owner for old-fashioned Kennewick store (bit.ly/BasinDeptSale): This June story shared the news about the longtime Kennewick work and safety equipment store being for sale. Stuart Logg has worked for the family business started by his father, Don, for 60 of its 69 years. He says he’s ready to enjoy a relaxed retirement. The business is for sale. For details, go to bit.ly/BasinDepartmentStore.
- New coffee shop aims to become the Tri-City’s new favorite (bit.ly/SwiggCoffee): This October story introduced the caffeinated dream from the ownership team of developers Lori and Jeff Wenner and coffee shop leader Jerick Guilliam. They envision Swigg Coffee Bar as the next “it” coffee chain in the Tri-Cities. Swigg serves up quality coffee along with locally-made breakfast foods from Tsp Bake Shop and El Fat Cat Grill.
- Group to launch entertainment center with activities for all ages (bit.ly/QuakeEpicenter): This March story was about a group of families, led by the Detricks, who want to build a 40,000-square-foot entertainment center featuring trampolines, arcades, laser tag, maze, golf simulators and more at 106904 E. Detrick PR SE in Kennewick. An update on the project: a $5.8 million building permit was issued in October. The company’s social media channels say to expect a spring completion date.
- Unique food park opening this fall in Kennewick (bit.ly/UniqueFoodKenn): This May story highlighted Joo Seok Baek’s unique food park, called 1derful Food Park – pronounced “wonderful,” planned at 6494 Skagit Ave., just off Canal Drive between McDonald’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kennewick. The complex will have seven 400-square-foot kitchens with outdoor seating and an indoor court to accommodate diners during the winter season and restrooms. Baek of Richland will open Korean barbecue restaurant.
Our Building Tri-Cities section also proved popular with online readers. It’s an advertising feature showcasing new construction projects and the contractors who work on them. Check them out at: bit.ly/Buildingtc.