The Raison d'etre for Downtown Renton is shopping local. Though not as vibrant as we might like it offers a chance to truly support the community as well as participate in its evolution. There is a constant clamoring for businesses like Trader Joes and no doubt an anchor tenant of this sort would kick things up a notch or two. However, this does not appear to be in the cards for the DTR(though I am sure PCC would be a better local choice). It is up to us, the scrappy entrepreneurial small business owners to keep putting our best products, services and personal touches on all our business interactions. This keeps it real and keeps the money circulating around the community. Many people are drawn to this level of dealing and find it satisfying and rewarding.
As an example of how it works and can evolve we have Big Al's Brewery distributing his delicious brew and hand selling it to many restaurants and bars in the Downtown and greater Renton area. He in turn patronizes and promotes the local establishments he sells to. As he goes out into the greater Seattle area he carries with him the impressions the DTR has made on him and his family and what it has to offer. Certainly this is good for business and is the style of doing business that the DTR is and would hopefully like to continue to be known for. As for evidences of further evolution, Big Al again is at the forefront and a fine example. He is presently looking for locations in Renton to start a new brewing operation while keeping his White Center facility. He intends to have a Tap Room and have local eateries provide some of the food to go with his brew. He wants to support, not compete, with his customers! We can create the kind and quality of Downtown we want. It is not easy but shopping local is a start and a way to express the best of who we are.
*Editor's Note: Sens has been an integral part of Renton’s culinary scene since 1983 and currently owns The Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe with his wife, and is a partner in Blossom Vegetarian and Papaya at The Landing. If you've been to any of these retaurants, be sure to click on the links, above, and write a review!