Tri-City Herald People’s Choice Awards 2016 is Out

The following was published in the People’s Choice Awards 2016 -eBook, here.

All photography by Alicia Walters

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Viera’s Bakery

430 W. Lewis St.

Pasco; 509-546-9726

Manuel and Esther Viera, Owners; Nono and Marisa Viera, Managers

Viera’s Bakery offers a huge selection of freshly baked goods that they display in large vintage-vibe cases with cherry wood frames and clear glass windows.  It’s fun to stop by and see the different pastries they have available or even just to grab a quick coffee and a churro.  Customer favorites include their 1,000 Layers Caramel, Empanada Bavarian Cream, Campechana in Assorted Flavors, and Mexican Cheesecake.  Children like to look through the glass and choose their favorite such as a colorful sugar cookie or a cherry-filled, pink empanada.

Manuel and Esther Viera, owners of Viera’s Bakery for over twenty years, maintain a tradition of excellence at their two locations.  Bakery opens at 4 a.m. at the Lewis St. location and 5 a.m. at the Burden Blvd. location and is open at both locations until 10 p.m.  “We start early and our ovens run twenty-four hours a day,” says Marisa Viera, manager of Viera’s Bakery.

They also make cakes for weddings and special occasions as well as fill special orders.  To order a custom cake or to request a special order for your occasion, visit either of their locations a speak with one of their bakers.

Beaver Bark

607 Aaron Dr.

Richland; 509-946-1000

Renae, Co-owner and founder.

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Beaver Bark Garden Center is a local treasure; having won Garden of the Year in 2010 and continuing their tradition of excellence. The local, family-owned gift and garden center provides customers with a visually stunning experience –with its spectacular hanging flower baskets, as well as comprehensive inventory of plants and garden products in over 10,000 square feet of store space.  Renae, co-owner and founder works with her highly knowledgeable and talented team, which includes nearly forty people to continually improve the aesthetics of the store layout.  Renae calls this a “labor of love.”

Located along I-82 in Richland, Beaver Bark is open year-round.  Stop by in October and you might be haunted by their selection of Halloween décor for the home and garden.  Families can come during the holiday season to pick out a tree, and get warm by an outdoor bonfire while children stay entertained with the live reindeer.  Bunnies and chicks seem to come alive all over in the spring and children are particularly interested in the “Fairy Garden” section of the store.

The Beaver Bark family grows much of its own plant products and work together to create an ever-evolving beautiful gift and garden store.  It is evident to customers in touring the Water Garden Department, including the Koi pond that Beaver Bark just keeps getting prettier.

Renae says, “Future plans are in the works, and ground will be broken this spring for an on-site warehouse for inventory efficiencies.”

Fairchild Cinemas

5020 Convention Dr.

Pasco; 509-544-0145

Chase Fairchild, Director of Theater Operations

Fairchild Cinemas is located in both Pasco and Richland.  The new Queensgate 12 has the same spacious auditoriums featuring comfortable seats and digital sound but there are a few upgrades to be aware of –most obvious are the plush leather, electric reclining seats. Select auditoriums are equipped with Dolby Atmos.  Chase Fairchild, Director of Theater Operations says, “The Atmos system lets film makers place sound elements in 3D space.  It allows for a more immersive movie experience.”

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Fairchild Cinemas seeks to make movie going enjoyable for diverse audiences.  For example, The Carson Kolzig Foundation sponsors a Sensory Friendly showing for families affected by Autism; during the showing, the lights are turned up and the sound is not as loud.  The ARC of Tri-Cities and Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing host an open caption showing that is open to the community.  Groups wanting to host a special showing may contact Toni Parmelee, 509-544-8993.

Soon at Queensgate 12, auditoriums adjacent to the new bar, which will feature an expanded menu, will be reserved for guests ages 21 and older to enjoy an appetizer and a drink during their movie.

Cedars Restaurant

355 N. Clover Island Dr.

Kennewick; 509-582-2143

Dave and Darci Mitcham, Owners

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Dave and Darci, husband-and-wife owners of Cedars Restaurant have been in business for forty years and their children have worked in the restaurant as well.  Darci says, “This business is our life.”

Cedars is a special landmark of the Tri-Cities, situated on Clover Island, surrounded by gorgeous views of the Columbia River. Darci goes on to say, “Many of our guests came here for their first prom, first dates, got engaged here and continue to come here for their wedding anniversaries.  We’ve come to think of many of them as friends.  We love our customers.’

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In addition to enjoying deliciously cooked steaks or refreshing cocktails on their heated outdoor terrace or beside their large rock fireplace in the lounge, you can even pull up in your boat in one of Cedars docking facilities.  Customers also appreciate that Cedars is one of the few remaining restaurants in town that include everything in one price: entrée, bread, soup or salad and fresh sides.

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Their lounge menu offers pub fare such as nachos, burgers, and fish and chips.  A well-known tradition at Cedars is when a customer turns twenty-one, they enjoy a Rum Barrel.  It is such a popular drink, Darci says, “In the summer, it’s not uncommon to see every patio table full with Ru Barrels.”  Lounge opens at 4 p.m., with the dining room open at 5 p.m. daily.

Big 5 Sporting Goods

812 W. Vineyard Dr.

Kennewick; 509-586-3793

Abel Orosco, Manager

Big 5 Sporting Goods is the number one destination for active families within the Tri-Cities.  Conveniently located in Kennewick and Richland, customers can choose from a great selection of athletic shoes and clothing, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, snowboarding and in-line skating equipment.  Abel, manager of the Richland store says, “If you are looking for affordable quality, this is the place.”  The staff at Big 5 Sporting Goods greets you immediately when you walk into the store and is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the products they offer.

You can purchase firearms as well as camping knives and compasses at Big 5 Sporting Goods, but did you know they even carry metal detectors for those within in the community who like to enjoy geocaching with a metal detector?  “There’s something here for everyone, whatever the hobby,” Abel says.

The best way to stay alerted to sales and promotions at Big 5 Sporting Goods is to sign up for their E-Team by going to:  Choose between their weekly ad and/or their E-Team exclusive sales and offers.  Big 5 Sporting Goods also showcases a variety of designer sunglasses.

Texas Roadhouse

#C, 835 N. Columbia Center Blvd.

Kennewick; 509-783-1288

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Texas Roadhouse is well-known for its exceptional quality, casual atmosphere and friendly servers who will even entertain customers with a line dance or two.  Their hand cut steaks and delicious fresh rolls served with cinnamon butter melt in your mouth for a really delicious dining experience.  To top it off, customers are served peanuts by the bucketful and warming made from scratch sides.  In business since November 2011, Steven Dunn, manager of Texas Roadhouse in Kennewick says, “We love the Tri-Cities and are actively involved in the community, partnering with great organizations such as: Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and many others.”

If you are looking for a hearty meal, a good drink, or just a place to let your hair down, look no further than Texas Roadhouse in Kennewick.  Order a medallion steak with mushrooms and as one customer William Taylor of Kennewick says, “It is heaven on a plate!” Customers enjoy a great value and Texas Roadhouse offers several specials regularly throughout the week.

Here are some of the discounts Texas Roadhouse offers:

Monday – Thursday Early Dine from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. offering 10 meals priced below $10.

Monday 30% discount for veterans, active duty military, police, fire and EMTs.

Tuesday 20% discount for educators

Wild West Wednesday purchase an 8 oz sirloin steak for $9.99 (includes two sides)

Thursday purchase any steak 16 oz or larger and get it smothered for free with mushrooms and onions

Did you know that although Texas Roadhouse doesn’t take reservations, they do offer call ahead seating?  Be sure to call ahead on busy weekends to get your party’s name on their list.  They’ll have a bucket of peanuts waiting for you.  Bartender is prompt and friendly, too if you just want to stop by for a drink.

2015-10-09 16.19.33 Alicia Walters, freelance writer in Tri-Cities, WA. Portfolio / Instagram.

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by writer Alicia Walters, contributor to print and digital magazines.

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