Wednesday, June 28, 2017 This Week's Paper

Northpoint serves a niche in the market

// Drinking, smoking, deep-fried Twinkies and five-alarm chicken wings – because you only live once

At 27 years old, entrepreneur William Manzanares IV is working hard to serve a large niche in the local community: budget-minded tobacco smokers.

At his restaurant, Northpoint Bar and Grill, located in Northeast Tacoma, Manzanares offers his customers a place to dine, drink and enjoy tobacco.

While Manzanares is not a smoker himself, and he acknowledges the detrimental health effects of smoking, he also acknowledges the desire of many tobacco smokers to be able to partake indoors, a practice that was squelched when a state-wide smoking ban initiative passed in 2005.

"The non-smoking law gave me my niche," he said.

Because Manzanares is a Puyallup Tribal member operating his business within the reservation boundaries, Northpoint Bar and Grill is exempt from the non-smoking law, which makes his bar one of three in the area where patrons can legally smoke indoors.

"I knew there was a need in the marketplace for a smoking bar."

But indoor smoking is not the only thing Northpoint Bar and Grill has going for it - its large menu of affordable, and sometimes unusual, homemade food options makes it a destination for diners.

"Once you get people to try it, they always come back," Manzanares affirmed, noting a group of post office workers make Northpoint their regular stop for lunch breaks.

The menu includes a bevy of bar basics, such as burgers, pizza and fried sides and appetizers, but they also have thrown in some one-of-a-kind choices, like deep-fried Oreos, ice cream and Twinkies.

The Northpoint cooks serve breakfast all day, which includes hobo hash, eggs Benedict and chicken-fried steak, to name a few. Patrons can get a full steak dinner for $4.99 on Sundays, and many menu items are half-off their already low price during happy hour (Northpoint's large pizza is $5 regular and $2.50 for happy hour).

"Our customers are working-class people, and it's a bar, so we stick to the basics," he said. "But people really like the food."

Menu items change from time to time, keeping options fresh and interesting for regulars, and cooks are currently working on an even-hotter version of their five-alarm wings for those willing to take the challenge.

Karaoke and pool is offered seven nights a week, and live music and stand-up comedy acts make their way to Northpoint every so often as well.

Northpoint Bar and Grill is located at 6210 29th St. N.E. Open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.