Lunch Bunch: The Gateway Cottage

Gateway Cottage: Front

Gateway Cottage

146th Pacific Ave
Spanaway, WA 98444
(253) 536–8100

Friday was our monthly Lunch Bunch outing. This time we went to a local favorite, the Gateway Cottage Restaurant & Lounge, located not far from Pacific Lutheran University. This restaurant is so popular with local folks that a waiting list formed for the trip, limited to 20 by the size of our bus.

Probably the restaurant’s popularity with local folks arises from its historical provenance. In 1890 retired U.S. military officer Captain Ludlow and his wife established the 80-acre homestead of Orchard Hill. Years later, George and Amy Jensen purchased 10 acres of Orchard Hill. In addition to expanding the Ludlow home, the Jensens built a guest cottage on the property, which was known as the Tacoma Silver Fox Farm in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Gateway Cottage restaurant opened in 2000, after owner Lynda Hogan spent two years renovating the dilapidated cottage. She filled the remodeled cottage with artwork she had collected while working at Corinthian Studios, an antiques store in downtown Tacoma that’s now closed. The artwork and furniture give the interior a comfortable, homey feeling.

Gateway Cottage interior
Gateway Cottage interior

(Click on images to see a larger version.)

The exterior courtyard garden, with its large trees, is also inviting. Gateway Cottage often hosts PLU graduation parties and other events there.

Gateway Cottage: Back
Gateway Cottage: Back

Hogan and her ex-husband, Walter Hogan, started one of Tacoma’s best known restaurants, Stanley & Seafort’s, in the early 1970s. They owned it for about five years before selling it to Restaurants Unlimited.

Gateway Cottage is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner on Saturday. Friday’s lunch menu featured lots of salads, sandwiches, and soups. The couple next to us both had Reuben sandwiches, which were so generously stuffed that each took home a half sandwich for Saturday’s lunch. My husband and I had the sirloin steak, which was cooked medium-rare, just as we had both ordered it. The accompanying vegetables—fresh yellow and zucchini squash, yellow peppers, and broccoli—were tasty, as was the creamy seafood chowder.

I always marvel at how well restaurant servers handle our luncheon groups, which require lots of separate checks for couples and singles. Our group this Friday was particularly large, yet the service was good and our waitress handled the many separate checks with grace.

I’m looking forward to going back to Gateway Cottage some evening to check out its dinner menu.

A Google search reveals that Gateway Cottage has received the following ratings (all on a five-star scale):

  • Google reviews: 4.3
  • Yelp: 3.5
  • Trip Advisor: 4.5
  • Facebook: 4.3
  • Yahoo: 5

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