After having been open for 27 years, The Swiss Restaurant and Pub has come to a permanent close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The owners, Jack and Carole Ann, reached their decision on Sept. 12. As a common location for UW students, faculty and the greater Tacoma community, the news came as a surprise and shock to most.
Cheryl Greengrove, an associate professor of geoscience at UW Tacoma offered her thoughts on the closing of the restaurant.
“It was a place where faculty, students, and local community members could gather, have lunch or a beer and talk informally about whatever,” Greengrove said.
The Restaurant and Pub was located in a vintage Tacoma building constructed around 1913, almost 77 years before UWT established its current campus. As an inclusive place where everyone was welcome, the restaurant regularly hosted open mic nights, 80s rock nights and much more. There was even a game room located upstairs equipped with a pool table.
“Jack and his team were gracious, welcoming and supportive of UWT, hosting many celebratory and community events like the ‘Grit City Think & Drink’ pub talk series.”
Grit City Think & Drink, a series where UWT partnered with The Swiss to host an event every second Tuesday of the month at a different venue, aimed to bring scholars together, lecture about a specific discipline and engage the audience in a discussion while in a casual social setting like a pub or bar. It is a free event that welcomes all ages. The talk series is still ongoing but in light of recent events, will be hosted on Zoom this month.
“Yes, the Swiss was a UWT institution, even though it was there way before the UWT campus existed,” Greengrove said. “It became part of our campus.”
The people of Tacoma are heartbroken about The Swiss closing and have set up a block party on Facebook to send it off right. The party was canceled due to COVID-19 regulations, but the organizers are hopeful that it will happen when the pandemic has run its course or during the summer of next year. Greengrove expressed her dismay on the closing city landmark, saying:
“I — and I am sure many others — will miss the Swiss, its people and comfortable atmosphere where many a UWTer would go to meet friends, relax and unwind after a long day or week at school. Thank you Jack and the Swiss. We miss you!”