New cocktail bar opening soon at The Parkway in Richland

RICHLAND, Wash. — Erin and Tyler Stevens dreamed of opening a cocktail bar for years. What they didn’t anticipate is that they would end up opening one in the middle of a pandemic.

“I remember when we really started seriously pursuing this a year and a half ago I told Tyler, as much as you plan, something is going to come up that you didn’t plan for,” said Erin. “I feel a little guilty, like maybe I was a little bit to blame for this pandemic.”

COVID-19 didn’t grind them to a complete halt, but it did slow their efforts.

“State and local officials are furloughed which has slowed down the process for evaluations, and construction was delayed six to eight months when it was all said and done,” said Tyler.

Additionally, Erin and Tyler have a young child and another on the way. They also both have day jobs – Erin works in tech, and Tyler works in insurance.

“We’re total newbies at this,” said Erin.

She and Tyler teamed up with Tyler’s sister, Meagan, making the new bar – Moniker – a family affair.

“We had at one point thought we’d be opening in the Fall of 2019,” said Tyler. “Even once we’re up and running there’s a lot of things we have to be really mindful of as we think about trying to do this in a safe and welcoming way for the community.”

After spending some time on the west side, the Stevens recently moved back to Eastern Washington where they are both from. They hope to offer something unique to the Tri-Cities, inspired by living in and traveling to other, larger cities.

“One thing that we really miss about Seattle is being able to go to places like this,” said Erin. “So we thought, why don’t we bring a little of what we learned when we were away from home, bring a little of that back to the Tri-Cities.”

They plan to offer a seasonal menu at Moniker that will change every six to eight weeks. It will feature craft cocktails and food inspired by different cultures, according to Erin.

“I think the food actually is going to be this sneaky thing that people are really taken with,” said Erin.

The inside of the bar has a minimalistic but artistic feel – ample bar seating as well as couch and table options – something customers will have to wait to enjoy because of current restrictions on reopening.

The process hasn’t gone as planned for the Stevens, but they are excited to finally jump in to a longtime passion.

“This is something that we’ve always loved to do in our home – have friends and family come over and make a great meal for them or make a great drink,” said Erin. “So we’re just really excited to share that with everyone here, and that’s kind of what drives us.”

Moniker is located at 702 The Parkway in Richland. The Stevens anticipate opening to the public next week for outdoor seating. Initially, it will be open Thursdays through Sundays.