Future UWT Plans May or May Not Include The Spaghetti Factory

The University of Washington Tacoma campus has come a long way since opening its doors for the first time in 1990. The physical signs of that progress are readily visible in the rehabilitation of old warehouse buildings, and infill of newer construction. 

Next up for the university is the rehabilitation of the Tacoma Paper & Stationery building at 1735 Jefferson, which has been sitting patiently, largely unoccupied, aside from The Old Spaghetti Factory space at street level. Nothing is changing in the immediate future, but The News Tribune reports that UWT is beginning the early steps toward renovating the historic building originally constructed for Tacoma Biscuit & Candy Co. in 1904. The campus map still shows the building only as a blank square between Dougan and the Science building, but a renovation is in the works. 

Future plans for the building are still pretty vague as UWT enters the design phase, but the TNT makes much of the possibility that the ultimate remodel might not leave room for The Spaghetti Factory in the space where it has served up heaping portions of pasta since 1971. There has been no decision yet on whether the building would be developed for mixed-uses like recent remodels along Pacific, or fully academic like its neighbors along Jefferson. Construction isn't funded yet, so construction couldn't begin until 2015 at the very earliest, but UWT and The Spaghetti Factory are in talks, seeking a solution that works for both.

A lot of Tacomans have grown up with The Spaghetti Factory as a staple for family dining, so there's a certain amount of nostalgia for many attached to the pasta restaurant. But downtown Tacoma and the university have done a fair amount of growing up as well. 

Would you be sad to see the pasta restaurant leave its long-time home on Jefferson?

Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!

Support Exit133



With the UWT/CoT putting 17th Street straight up the hill I think they are looking to close Jefferson down in the future.  Maybe the OSF can go into the planned development off 21st and Commerce in front of the Holiday Inn Express? Is that still happening?

May 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


The amount of uncertainty about the UWT’s plans is not goods for the restaurant owner.  I’d say they should be seriously looking for a new location close by..

June 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


I hope they can find a solution where it stays downtown.  It’s one of the really vibrant businesses in the core.

June 3, 2014 at 10:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


The UW-T should take notice of city government’s decision that preserved Johnny’s Seafood as a landmark on the downtown waterfront with the bonus of a shoreside bistro.  The UW-T also needs after-hours respectable activities along campus sidewalks.  The Old Spaghetti Factory fits in with that objective.  With almost fifty years of history it Tacoma, the institution also seems to qualify as a cultural landmark.  Likewise, for decor the place is uniquely Tacoma, like the original Rock Pasta restaurant just southward on Jefferson Avenue.  As with the bistro at Johnny’s Seafood, The Old Spaghetti Factory has an all important pocketbook factor important to ordinary Tacomans:  affordability. Tacoma needs vibrant downtown businesses—surely, the UW-T and The Old Spaghetti Factory should be able to reach common ground on renovation/lease arrangements for that old building.  Used-brick charm like that and and that old trolley-car cannot be found in suburban Federal Way.

June 4, 2014 at 10:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 0

Post A New Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Potentially Related Articles