1022 South J Tacoma


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1022 South J is a cozy, speakeasy-style nook spotlighting creative cocktails & eclectic small & large plates. Few places satisfy the after-work cocktail, early evening date spot quite like this Hilltop hole in the wall. Priding themselves on a first-class selection of liquors and a staff that’s not an ounce shy about talking vermouths and floral notes in fancy gins, 1022 South J is a go-to spot for the fancier side of a South Sound drinker’s palette. As with most of my evaluations, I’ll begin with what I DIDN’T enjoy about 1022 SOUTH J. It is situated on Tacoma‘s Hilltop. That’s all. That was the one thing I didn’t care about. Tacoma’s Hilltop area is undergoing gentrification, which residents are fighting tooth and nail. 

The fact that one of the neighborhood’s most significant neighbors is a jail, and the area is dotted with bail bondsman offices does not assist the neighborhood’s image. But isn’t it strange how there are hidden treasures like 1022 SOUTH J? It is unpretentious and unapologetic about the place and the people that live there. It’s the type of spot where regulars build connections with the bartenders outside of the bar. It’s where you can meet or go at the end of a work day or on your way from or to a trip and enjoy unexpectedly terrific meals and extraordinary beverages. My girlfriend got the pimento cheese and the 1022 fried chicken with no bun, while I ordered spiked fries, a BLT, and crispy Brussel sprouts. Her chick was juicy and well done, and the flames were wonderfully crisp. 

The beer selection was limited, but they understood how to prepare a good cocktail. If you ever find yourself in a downtown Tacoma hotel or defending someone in court, you should try this restaurant. Excellent cuisine, inventive drinks, and a somber atmosphere. It was fantastic. Their Fried Chicken Sandwich was out of this world. Some of Tacoma’s top cocktail bartenders. There was a decent turnout and an excellent happy hour on Sunday night. Perhaps it’s simply a coincidence, but 80’s music is usually excellent. They feature incredible artisan cocktails, beers, wines, and great big and small meals, all of which are locally sourced, making this a fantastic gastropub! It was founded in 2008. 1022 sprang from the ashes of the Monsoon Room, Tacoma’s first handmade cocktail bar. So, this is one of the best bars in Tacoma.

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