Lighthouse leased, new restaurant coming soon

During the past week, there has been movement inside the Lighthouse.

Now, after more than a year of being closed, the Lighthouse will soon be occupied once again.

Robert Earl Enterprises LLC signed a lease with the building’s owner, Tim Tweten.

The new restaurant, located at 429 Bay St., will operate as Robert Earl Lighthouse with Eric Smith as owner and Brookes Koning as general manager. The pair — both with restaurant experience — plan to open in late April or early May.

Tweten, president of the South Sound Restaurant Group, shut down the Lighthouse in January 2013 because it was not profitable and did not fit in well with his portfolio of restaurants in Pierce County.

The 9,254-square foot Lighthouse, which was built in 1984, was the vision of Tweten’s parents, Del and Gloria Tweten, who opened the restaurant that was known as Tweten’s Lighthouse for years.

The younger Tweten purchased the building in 2006. He and his business partner, Gordon Rush of Gig Harbor-based Rush Construction, planned in 2007 to build condominiums, a marina and retail space on the 1.5-acre waterfront property. But Tweten said those plans were scuttled when the Great Recession hit.

Instead, the building housed multiple restaurants beginning with Gino’s in 2007, the Lighthouse Bar and Grill two years later and then the Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge in 2011.

Tweten’s brothers, Frank and Kirby, also operated the building before Gino’s opened.


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