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Looking for a low-key Valentine’s spot? Here are a few to consider in Tacoma and Puyallup

Maybe you’re not the lovey-dovey type, or maybe you don’t like Hallmark holidays.

Perhaps you don’t have a significant other at the moment, and if you do, you’re not sure if they’re Valentine’s Day material.

Or, like me, you’ve worked in restaurants and know how awkward it can be to wait on tables of nothing but two-tops staring across the table with one inevitably giving you the side-eye when you try to take their order or drop their drinks or ask, “How’s the salmon?”

No matter the reason, you’ve got options for a more casual (and fun?) night out.

Jazzbones

Jazzbones gets you.

The Sixth Avenue lounge hosts its annual “stop light party” at 11 p.m. on Friday the 14th. It’s basically a new-age mixer, meaning you only wear the color of the day — red — if you’re “happily taken.” Single? Wear green. Not sure what’s going on with your love life? Throw on some shade of yellow or gold. DJ Reign will spin R&B and hip-hop jams for all creeds with no cover. It’s a popular singles night, according to an employee, and it comes but once a year.

If you want to feel a few notes of affection, get there at 8 p.m. for The Lonely Hearts Club, a Beatles tribute band ($10 advance, $15 day of at the door). Snag a table downstairs — no reservations — to enjoy the music and nibble on sushi rolls ($4 for maki to $15 for specialty), fried calamari ($8) and satay skewers ($3.25 to $7.50).

Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253-396-9169, jazzbones.com

Feb. 14, 8-10:30 p.m. dinner with music, tickets through Eventbrite; 11 p.m.-close DJ party, no cover

The Swiss Pub

Make it a Thursday night dinner and a show at The Swiss Pub, which is offering a four-course meal for $72 per couple on Feb. 13. It’s a little something different for The Swiss that falls more along the lines of “I think I like you.”

The Playtonics will add “jazzy soul pop” ambiance to the evening. One seating only starts at 6 p.m.

The menu kicks off with a glass of rosé and a cheese plate, followed by your choice of a Caesar salad or a cup of French onion soup with a “Henny 75” — the classic champagne cocktail but here made with Hennessy cognac instead of gin. Then crack open Ninkasi Brewing’s Heart and Science IPA and dig into a bowl of cavatappi tossed with chicken and grape tomatoes and bathed in a vodka cream sauce.

Dessert is, naturally, chocolate cake and coffee, and you’re out the door before 8.

The Swiss Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, 253-572-2821, theswisspub.com

Feb. 13, 6-7:30 p.m., reservations through Eventbrite, walk-ins welcome

RAM Restaurant & Brewery

The waterfront brewery also wants to help you beat the rush and doesn’t mention Valentine’s Day once. A Thursday night brewer’s dinner from chefs Brandon Escovedo and DJ Stark pairs four dishes made and paired with beers by Kevin Pierce.

The menu leads with an arugula salad with mandarins, mint, gorgonzola tossed in a citrus-shallot Hefeweizen vinaigrette. Second comes a flatbread — with the house amber ale in the dough — topped with caramelized onions, feta and tomato. The main chicken dish uses RAM’s Big Red IPA in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce, served with braised greens and an almond pilaf.

Dessert gets the boozy treatment, too, with chocolate porter cupcakes iced with a porter, maple and bacon-infused cream cheese frosting.

Got a third wheel? Singles are welcome here for $35; a two-person ticket costs $60.

RAM Restaurant & Brewery, 3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253-756-7886, theram.com

Feb. 13, 5-8 p.m., reservations through Eventbrite

Top Gun Bar & Grill

Sensing a theme here.

Top Gun in Puyallup doesn’t have a set menu or really anything sweetheart-ish at all on Feb. 14. Instead, the casual pub will offer happy-hour-type deals, including $4 off all entrees and some drink specials. That means $10 pastas (shrimp scampi, cajun or poblano chicken), a $10 fried chicken platter, and steaks served with two sides, a potato of your choice and soup or salad. The 10-ounce sirloin will be $14, the 12-ounce ribeye $23 and the 8-ounce filet mignon $34. The deal also entails $8 to $10 burgers and sandwiches.

It’s called Screw Cupid!, and it involves karaoke at 9 p.m.

Top Gun Bar & Grill, 16807 103rd Ave., Puyallup, 253-848-0555, topgunbgllc.com

Open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Tacoma Brewing Company

The taproom welcomes Angie Capps, the owner of Art Studio 27 in University Place, to lead a paint-and-sip class on Feb. 13. All materials are included in the $45 ticket cost, and all beers and ciders will be available for purchase.

Bring a friend or two, but act quickly — there’s only room for 20 painters.

On Friday, the brewery and cidery will have tastings of Tacoma’s own Tease Chocolates and feature chocolate-infused beverages. Beer-wise, they’ll pour a chocolate chili bourbon stout, a chocolate sour cherry stout, and a chocolate oatmeal pale ale. The team is also testing a few chocolate ciders, including one with almond, cinnamon and chili, another with coffee and a third with ginger and fennel.

Tacoma Brewing Company, 1116 Court E, Tacoma, facebook.com/tacomabrewing

Feb. 13, 6:30-9 p.m., $45 tickets through Art Studio 27; Feb. 14, 2-9 p.m., BYOfood and cash bar

Locust Cider & Brewing

Galentine’s Day at this Sixth Avenue taproom means ladies and anyone identifying as a woman gets $1 off all pints on Feb. 13. Drink to tunes by female artists with movies on the screen with strong female leads.

The taproom also will accept donations of menstrual products for Tacoma Rescue Mission, which received funding to build a women’s shelter last year.

Then on Valentine’s Day, stop by to enjoy a taste from Hilltop favorite Johnson’s Candy paired with a pink cider or beer.

Locust Cider Taproom, 2805 6th Ave., Tacoma, locustcider.com

Feb. 13, 4-10 p.m., cash bar; Feb. 14, 6-9 p.m., cash bar

Peaks & Pints

Proctor’s beer bar has just the thing for beer lovers. That’s people who love beer, not necessarily people who are lovers and love beer. Whatever, all are welcome.

Get the Valentine’s flight to try five different brews selected just for Feb. 14 and then move on to a full pint of something you love from their dozens of taps. Satiate your hunger, too, with a $10 sandwich and chips, like the Pesto Pastrami, Italian Grinder or BBQ Bacon Bleu.

The bar also will spin love songs of sorts on the hi-fi and play romantic movies on its 130-inch screen.

Peaks & Pints, 3816 N. 26th St., Tacoma, 253-328-5621, peaksandpints.com

Open 11 p.m.-12 a.m.

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.
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