Riverbend Golf Course has new Half Lion Public House now open

Updated: July 3, 2019

By Steve Hunter, Kent Reporter

The Half Lion Public House is open for business at the city of Kent’s Riverbend Golf Complex.

Sumner-based Half Lion Brewing Co., opened the restaurant/bar last month at 2019 W. Meeker St. It offers American pub fare along with Half Lion’s handcrafted beers. The company opened in Sumner in February 2016. Half Lion beer is on tap at more than 200 locations from Tukwila to Olympia. The name comes not from a lion, but a Great Dane, which owners Jason Nelson, David Westby and Adam Shay explain on the company’s website at halflion.com.

The Kent City Council unanimously approved a 10-year lease agreement in January with Half Lion. The lease has three, five-year options. No restaurant has operated at the facility since March 2017 when Scotch and Vine closed.

About that name ….. A couple weeks after brewing the first batch of homebrew David and some friends finished a day of skiing at Crystal Mountain and decided to swing through Enumclaw to give that first beer a try. In those early days we were brewing at a friends house and they owned a great dane named Tonka. Andy, David’s younger brother, was fascinated by Tonka’s size. She was such a huge animal! Questions, and beers, were raised, “Why were Great Danes bred to be so large?” Answers, and more beers, were given, “To hunt and kill lions, I think.”  When it was time to go, everyone hopped into the car to head back home. One of the visiting skiers was puzzled, he was shaking his head and chuckling to himself and everyone started to ask what his deal was.  He continued in full seriousness, “So wait… You guys are telling me…that dog is Half Lion?”  In bouncing from conversation to conversation he had confused the hunting of lions conversation into thinking a dog and a lion had been bred to create Great Danes.