Combine Denise Johnson’s two decades in the restaurant industry, and her husband, Bruce Johnson’s years as a baseball star and you get Field of Champions Sports Bar & Grill in Issaquah.
The restaurant, which offers food, spirits and breakfast on the weekends, opened last month on Gilman Boulevard, replacing Tiger Mountain Grill. The couple have been pleased with how the community has welcomed their new business.
“It’s not a tavern, it’s not Red Robin, it’s a mix,” said Bruce, who is also the the owner and founder of Field of Champions indoor softball and baseball training facility in Preston. “We have everyone at the restaurant from 6 to 86.”
Long before starting his restaurant or training facility, Bruce’s early sports career included playing in the College World Series with the University of California Berkeley and coaching and playing professionally in Australia. Today, he coaches for Issaquah High school.
Involvement with local teams is a big part of the Johnsons’ business. Walking into the restaurant, you can watch national sports on one of the 16 big-screen T.V.s – but you can also see local team photos adorning the walls.
“It’s a tribute restaurant to all the coaches, players, teams, all those that have been involved in youth athletics here,” Bruce said.
It is also a tribute to Denise’s expertise. For the restaurant, the veteran of the dining industry uses her own recipe for barbeque sauce that she’s been making for more than 20 years.
The menu is an ongoing collaboration between the owners and head chef Gary Asmus offering good ol’ American fare, including fish and chips ($10), salads ($6 to $11), burgers and deli sandwiches ($9 to $11).
Issaquah needed a place like this where families can come watch the game together, Denise said. “During the baseball playoffs this fall, we heard different sections of the restaurant cheering at different times. It was exciting.”
Gabrielle Nomura be reached at 425-391-0363.
Field of Dreams is located at 385 NW Gilman Blvd. and is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to www.fieldofchampionssbg.com.