Freighthouse Square was originally a freighthouse for Milwaukee railroad in Tacoma and was built in 1909. It is located at 2501 East D Street Tacoma, WA 98421. Lonee Peschon, onsite manager for Freighthouse Square, commented: “We’ve kept the same charm, the old Freighthouse look and feel inside the building. It is an indoor marketplace and international food court with an eclectic mix of different types of shops and boutiques. Along with that theme behind us, the Sounder Train platform and in front of us Tacoma Light Rail station (it’s the first station in line to the entire Link downtown) and the Pierce County bus station is in front of us.
Every year we have the holiday winter wonderland train that the Tacoma Model Railroad Club sets up in the Rainier room of Freighthouse Square. This is always ready by Thanksgiving and stays through the holidays. Along with the train, we have a holiday event day with crafters, vendors, entertainment, rolling musicians, and sometimes live bands. We have lego workshops for the kids, every year is a little different and a big holiday event when the train is up.
We’ve also had I.C.A.N. (interactive, community arts network) which has tons of activities involving hands-on and a Northwest book signing this past March 31st. We don’t have a date this year, but it will happen again. This is our first time doing “Sample the Square.”
Sample the Square will take place Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm at Freighthouse Square. It is where the public can sample from the international food vendors in Freighthouse Square for $3 per food vendor. There will also be a Super Saver indoor sidewalk sale which will include $1 items and up to 75% off, as well as freebies. Other activities will include: a Family Fun Zone at City Blocks with Dan the Lego Man, from 11 am to 1 pm there will be a Little Girl Beauty Day at Diva’s Hair Studio, from 1 pm to 3 pm will be cookie decorating at Seasonal Delights Café, and from 3 pmt to 5 pm will be jewelry making at Alkimea Jewelers. There will also be a raffle drawing for a gift basket.
Lonee shared about Freighthouse Square, “We are here alive and well so many people that don’t even realize we’re open anymore. There were rumors that it closed; we’re really working on educating the public that we’re here. If you’re looking for something that you won’t find at the mall, this is where you should go, it’s not your average mall type shopping.
It has a very special atmosphere and you feel it when you get here. It’s the alternative to big box mall shopping. It’s covered so you don’t have to be outside downtown.”
Tammi Louckes, owner of Reclamation Candles at Freighthouse Square, explained details of Sample the Square, “There are 11 food merchants total that will be participating: Boxcar Grill, Little India Express, Thai & Teriyaki, Mocha Stop, Mediterranean Palace, Paya Thai Fish & Chips, RJ’s Burger Joint, Santa Fe Mexican Grill, Seasonal Delight’s Café’ & Espresso Company, Subway, and Wendy’s Vietnamese. No reservations are required, those that are interested can just show up.
We’re trying to make it a family affair and we’re looking at musicians to be here and we’re having someone here to make balloons animal balloons for donations. Sample the Square is our first annual and we’re hoping to make it an annual event. It’s a great opportunity for people to try food in the food court since it’s really high quality food and they have received awards for their food. It’s a great way for people to come down and see what’s new, try the food, and check out the shops.”
When asked how Sample the Square came about, Tammi replied, “We were trying to find a way to market and give back to the community and it was beneficial to do so as a group, so we developed the market association. There are a lot of things coming up, including trick-or-treating for the kids on Halloween followed by a magic show on the same day. Trick-or-treating will take place from 4 pm to 7 pm and the magic show from 5 pm to 6 pm. We started our second Saturday craft show last month, which we held all through fall and into next spring. In December, there will be a huge Christmas craft show with so many things that we’re still working on. There are really a lot of fun events coming and we’re working out the details. We also recently started “$5 Mondays” where every Monday, every retail store and restaurant has a $5 menu item. We are doing $5 Mondays through the end of October. We started that group in mid-July 2012 in which there were no fees for merchants and our goal is to have every merchant helping with marketing the square. If anybody needs advice, we’re all here to help each other, that’s why we didn’t want to charge fees.”
Tammi commented on what she thought of Sample the Square, “As a representative of the Freighthouse Square Merchant’s Association, our main goal is to get the word out that Freighthouse Square is a very vital destination for shopping and eating is open. There are new merchants here and it’s a great time to come and see what’s new and support it. Our main goal is putting the event together and offering entertainment and classes throughout the day which gives families inexpensive entertainment for the day.”
Tammi discussed how the Sample the Square event was unique, “The most unique thing to me is how dedicated every merchant and restaurant is in being successful. I’ve only been here four months and in the past, I’ve been told that some events that were held here did not have full participation from all the merchants. We are getting full participation with Sample the Square and I think that’s quite unique. We have a lot of merchants that are busy people and are volunteering someone to do design work, press releases, and décor. For some of us, it’s a new and great way for us to get to know each other. We all refer people to each other’s stores when we don’t have an item and vice versa. We’re all working hard to support each other.”
When asked who she recommended come to Sample the Square, Tammi replied, “Everybody, there’s something here for everyone: an electronic store, art gallery (there are talented artists), clothing store, jewelry, lingerie, book store, food court, and a salon downstairs, they’re really great. There’s even a spa, there’s something here for everyone.”
For more information about Freighthouse Square and its events, please visit: Freighthousesquare.com. Tammi commented: “We merchants would really like to invite people to come down and sample the square, see what’s new and come re-experience the square. We just know you’re gonna have a great time and like the merchants. When you walk in, you’re treated like you’re part of the family and it’s a different experience than the big box stores and the malls.” “We’re leasing the space on October 6, 2012 for a Pagan Pride event from 11 am to 6 pm. There will be healers, psychics, classes, and workshops and different sorts of vendors related to crystals and jewelry that go along with Pagan Pride Day which will be located in the Rainier room. For more information, please contact: Angela Wehnert at: 253 572-8339,” Lonee concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com