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Spending a night out at The Landing
Renton’s The Landing, a retail center, has become a vibrant happy hour and nightlife destination, with even more options for dining and entertainment added this year.
Wandering through The Landing’s retail street-scapes on a Thursday or weekend evening, reveals girlfriends, couples and co-workers chatting over drinks at restaurants. Families are lined-up, waiting to see the latest blockbuster at Regal Cinemas. And later into the evening, music from bands and solo artists can be heard through the courtyards. This is a typical night out at The Landing.
This year Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Top Pot, WildFin American Grill, World of Beer and Torero’s, an institution in family dining, joined The Landing collection. Once many of the storefronts awaited businesses, now the center is attracting national chains and downtown Renton business.
“It’s got kind of the best of both worlds; it’s iconic,” said Les Seligman, general manager of WildFin. “The Landing almost exists autonomously from Renton, in a certain sense. We have a lot of people coming in from the surrounding areas. But when asked where the location is, if we just say, ‘The Landing,’ people are like ‘Oh yeah, I know where that is.’”
Atilla Szabo, WildFin’s owner, scouted the center for years before he decided the location was “a straight match” to what the restaurant represents.
A “young energy and exuberance” is found in The Landing that is also still grounded to family, said Seligman.
The restaurant that serves up Northwest and regional fare from salmon to produce to spirits, has found success in their happy hour and evening meals. The street tacos, Copper River Salmon, regional microbrews and strawberry shortcake are very popular.
“When you come in for happy hour, there’s a buzz and it starts at 3 p.m.,” said Seligman. “It’s not a sophisticated happy hour or a sophisticated crowd. It’s a good swath of everything, a little bit of everybody seems to show up.”
Down from the cinemas, World of Beer is the biggest scene-setter, a sports bar with garage doors that open onto outdoor seating. Neon signs and TVs light up the interiors and musicians pump out jams nightly Thursday through the weekend.
“We’re really happy with sales and the reaction we’ve gotten from the community,” said Matt Strickland, World of Beer area manager. “We’ve developed a pretty loyal customer base already, which is continuing to grow.”
World of Beer has also helped the sales of other restaurants at The Landing, who are featured in their menu portfolio. The Renton location has partnerships with other restaurants, like Jimmy Johns, Five Guys and Torero’s, to offer takeout delivery from those restaurants to customers’ tables at World of Beer.
“It’s a very mutually beneficial relationship between the restaurants and ourselves,” said Strickland. “There’s no money exchanging hands between World of Beer and the restaurants. They have the ability to increase their food sells and we have the ability to offer food to our guests, without having to prepare it on site.”
The Rock, a tenant of The Landing since 2009, has increased sales with their partnership in World of Beer’s menu portfolio. The Rock averages about $5,000 in to-go sales to World of Beer.
“It’s been really busy and every year it gets busier and busier,” said Darin Bodey, manager.
The Rock was founded by two Auburn residents, one of whom is the father of actor Cam Gigandet. The actor has been known to stop in the restaurants, which excites Bodey’s staff, he said.
People are usually waiting to get into happy hour at The Rock and Friday evenings are their busiest, Bodey said.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop, also new to The Landing hopes to attract additional attention soon by adding live music to their mix. They already attract the Boeing lunch crowd and weekend movie-goers.
“It’s really growing; a lot of younger families are moving in and a lot of larger businesses are staring to put larger offices in the area,” said Aaron Scofield, general manager. “Boeing houses umpteen workers over there and they all need lunches throughout the day.”
The sandwich shop moved to The Landing specifically to capture that market and to be next to Boeing, he said.
Reporter Tracey Compton can be reached at 425-255-3483, ext. 5052