Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge closes

Another popular Bay Street eatery has closed.

Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge owner Tim Tweten said he shuttered the establishment Tuesday because it was not profitable and did not fit in well with his portfolio of restaurants in Pierce County.

Tweten, who is president of the South Sound Restaurant Group, said he no longer could dedicate the resources necessary to make the Lighthouse successful.

“It’s a big, beautiful building that needs an owner and operator,” Tweten said. “I can’t do that. I enjoyed my time in Kitsap County and I’m looking forward to playing more golf and not working as hard.”

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

Despite that, Tweten thinks a restaurant can succeed in that location if the new owner is willing to invest “a considerable amount of money” upgrading the building. He expects the restaurant will be “dark for a while,” but said he already is receiving interest from potential new tenants or buyers for the property.

The Lighthouse becomes the latest Bay Street establishment to close this month, following Morningside Bakery.

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