TNT Diner

One of Tacoma’s favorite diners set to reopen soon

Tacoma’s Old Milwaukee Cafe will reopen by March, according to co-owner Pat Kerth.

She told The News Tribune her husband Chad has mostly recuperated from an injury he suffered at the restaurant in May 2019.

Subsequent complications elongated what the Kerths assured its loyal fans was a temporary shutter.

“It was really scary,” said Pat Kerth, but her husband battled through it, undergoing months of physical therapy.

The community definitely eased the process, she added, referencing the GoFundMe page — launched by Kevin McGlocklin, founder of fellow Sixth Avenue business Bluebeard Coffee Roasters — that raised more than $13,000.

“It was awesome,” she said.

The windows of the cafe at 3102 Sixth Avenue have — for eight months now — been covered in pink and white paper hearts with notes of adoration and support, from “loving you” to “just know that you aren’t on that road alone.”

There also has been a large handwritten sign in the window announcing the closing.

Now that Chad Kerth feels strong enough to get back in the kitchen, that sign will come down.

A woman driving by recently saw him pressure-washing the sidewalk, his wife said, and she pulled over to ask what was going on. Needless to say, she was delighted to hear the news.

The couple has begun digging out the boxes and dust, preparing for a hopeful opening at the end of February or sometime in March. They definitely want to “ease into it” to ensure they are both ready for long days on their feet once again.

To start, the restaurant will be open for a few hours only a few days a week.

They have already received inquiries from fans asking if they can help.

“I told Chad, ‘I’m going to be a blubbery mess,’” Pat said.

Old Milwaukee Cafe

3102 Sixth Ave., Tacoma,

Kristine Sherred joined The News Tribune in December 2019. She spent the past decade immersed in the culinary scene of Chicago and, for a time, covered the global chocolate and snacks industries. An avid home cook and beer/cocktail pro, she now explores all things edible and sippable throughout Pierce County. Reach her also at @kriscarasher on Twitter.