If you haven’t been to Griot’s Garage in Tacoma, prepare yourself for a whole new experience. It’s not just a retail store for car care products. Caffeine and Gasoline is a recurring community event hosted by Griot’s Garage for automotive enthusiasts held on the first Saturday of every month. No membership is required as the public is invited, and free coffee and doughnuts are served. It’s an all-around, all-consuming sensory experience that will dazzle you. The camaraderie of the staff and guests creates a vibe that is upbeat and welcoming.

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Richard Griot and three generations of the Griot family ensure that everyone who turns out for the Caffeine and Gasoline get-togethers comes away with an overall sense of having had a blast. “It’s all about having fun,” he says. “We’re doing what we love — spending time with cars and the people who love them. That’s our kind of fun. We are inspired by and proud of the results our customers achieve. There’s no better feeling. We invite car lovers everywhere to join us in celebrating the pleasure of owning, improving, and caring for cars.”

Tacoma Griot's Garage
Griot’s Garage Flagship Retail Store & HQ in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Caffeine and Gasoline gatherings are so much fun is you’ll meet others and see their cars as there is always an impromptu car show. It’s loads of fun to peruse and schmooze with other visitors who’ve brought along their sweet rides. Everyone is happy to show off and talk about their car and its history and share fun memories they’ve made with it.

Griot’s Garage has a chosen theme for each month’s event. The theme for May is Motorcycles, and June’s is Porsche. Here’s the full schedule of events.

If you’re wondering what exactly they do at Griot’s Garage, they simply bring out the best in your car. They have service bays where you can schedule a time to bring your vehicle in for professional detailing to make it shine like new. But suppose you’re the person who looks forward to that private time in your home garage on the weekends. In that case, you’ll find everything — absolutely everything you’ll need — and probably some things you never even dreamed of before at Griot’s Garage. What’s cool too is that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee on everything they sell. And, if it isn’t convenient for you to come in, you can find everything you need to have more fun in your garage when you order online.

Tacoma Griot's Garage
Griot’s Garage showroom Ford GT on display. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Not only is the retail area impressive — hold on to your caps and your leather driving gloves — there’s a massive showroom! It’s an indoor museum of cars with displays featuring different themes rotating regularly. You can hang out, dream and drool (figuratively speaking, of course) over the drop-dead gorgeous classic cars and racecars featured in the displays. You don’t even need to pay admission! It’s always free.

Griot’s Garage has a good-sized space dedicated to a café and lounge area where people can sit at tables and chat as they enjoy their coffee and doughnuts on the Caffeine and Gasoline event days. It’s very welcoming to all.

Griot’s Garage retail store is spacious, fastidiously clean and organized to perfection, making it easy to find what you’re looking for no matter how obscure it might be. The team members have undergone extensive professional training, so they are knowledgeable and can quickly assist you in answering any questions.

Each employee or team member undergoes extensive professional training for their position with Griot’s Garage. The benefits package is outstanding.

Here’s an enticing example of a job description at Griot’s Garage for a Customer Experience Associate: 

“This position will give you the opportunity to work in an iconic building surrounded by vintage race cars, motorcycles, and unique pieces of automotive history. You, and a team of like-minded enthusiasts, will be paid to talk about cars and car care products all day! Griot’s will support you with training to develop your skills and provide a pathway to grow in your career. At Griot’s Garage, we like to have fun in our garage while striving toward the highest standards of performance. We hope you will join us!”

Something worthy of note for anyone interested in applying for employment with Griot’s Garage is that the company holds all employees to exceptionally high standards. These are the current career opportunities. If you have a large social media following (greater than 15,000), you might want to consider becoming a Brand Ambassador.

Tacoma Griot's Garage
Griot’s Garage Car Show. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

If you’re familiar with the area, you may recognize that Griot’s Garage reclaimed, repurposed, remodeled, and revitalized the derelict old red brick building that was the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant not far from Tacoma Mall. To say it had become an eyesore is an understatement. Griot’s Garage has turned that entire property into a sparkling clean, glistening wonderland of new life for automotive enthusiasts and their treasured cars. The circular driveway entrance in front of the store features one of the tallest flagpoles in Tacoma and Pierce County and proudly flies the American flag. It can be seen from a wide distance flying gently in the breeze. The vast parking area includes plenty of accessible parking spaces and a wheelchair ramp for easy access to the store and showroom. There is also a huge parking area on the north side of the building. When the Caffeine and Gasoline events are held, 1,500 or more people are in attendance, so the large parking area is super important.

Tacoma Griot's Garage
Griot’s Garage automotive showroom racecar on display. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Going back to the earliest history of how Richard Griot began his adventure in this industry, it started when he was only a toddler. “I’ve been living the garage life since I was 5-years old,” he says. “One of my earliest projects was putting a Sandy Koufax baseball card in my bicycle spokes. As I grew up, so did my projects. By the time I left for college, the garage had seen three paint jobs, an engine pulling that nearly brought down the rafters, brake jobs, and countless tune-ups. And my parents only had to take me to the emergency room once!”

Richard continues, “With my cars running like Swiss watches, I wanted them to look the part. I searched, but nothing in the car care arena measured up. So, I started what would become Griot’s Garage in my home garage in 1988. I really stepped up my game in 1990, introducing the first catalog, the first padded lay-down creeper, non-lifting floor paint, quality car care, and unique tools and garage gear.”

Caffeine and Gasoline at Griot’s Garage is where you want to be Saturday, May 7, 8 to 10 a.m. Be there or be square. And I’ll see you there! And don’t miss Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Griot’s Garage
3333 South 38th St.

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