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Restaurant owner chips away at improvements

Golf course-based eatery expands menu, plans summer concert series

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Brad Fouts, owner of the Kelly Creek Sports Bar and Grill, is shown here behind the bar on a recent afternoon. It’s often assumed that golf is an exclusive, country club-based activity and those who eat, drink and relax while gazing out at meticulously manicured greens must be privileged members.

At the Kelly Creek Sports Bar and Grill, adjacent to Gresham Golf Course at 2157 N.E. Division St., nothing could be further from the truth.

Brad Fouts, who took over, renamed and revamped the former Kelly Creek Par & Grill in spring 2015, wants to make it clear that you don’t need a bag of clubs or a costly membership to enjoy leisure time in a golf course environment.

“People have been driving by here for years who don’t realize this is a separate entity from the golf course,” he said. “We offer full service breakfast, lunch, dinner and a sports bar.”OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Sports memorabilia covers the walls at the Kelly Creek Sports Bar and Grill. Everything from baseball cards to vintage Portland Trailblazer pennants are on display for patrons to enjoy.

Seeing an opportunity to take the restaurant in a new direction, Fouts, a Lake Oswego resident who owns Bradford’s Sports Lounge in the Gateway area, went in on the Kelly Creek venture with Gary Hoff, one of its former owners, and Wolfgang Werner. Their vision includes expanding the menu and hours of operation, creating a sports bar environment featuring 10 large TV screens, adding a patio on the building’s eastern end and focusing on attractions like regular live music.

“I thought it was underutilized,” Fouts said of the long-running eatery. “It had tons of potential. It just needed some finesse.”

While longtime patrons should have no trouble feeling comfortable in the new place, Fouts, 58, set out to create a more open, inviting feel to the bar and dining area. He removed a partition that separated the sections, added a gas fireplace in the corner, decorated the previously sparse walls with memorabilia and applied what he called a “beautification project” to the restrooms.

While he’s clearly proud of the physical improvements, it’s the food menu Fouts is most enthused about. Noting the restaurant’s increasingly favorable ratings on its Facebook page and the Yelp.com website since last year’s ownership change, he’s confident that word is getting around.

“We’ve improved the quality tenfold,” he said. “We offer pizza, roasted chicken, steaks, seafood and higher-end sports bar food. It’s not something you buy at a store.”

An extensive soup and salad bar ($7.95 one time; $9.95 all you can eat) for lunch and dinner, and a $9.95 all-you-can-eat buffet on Sundays cater to those who like a little variety in their dining.

“The numbers have pushed to from 60 to 80 breakfasts since we started it,” he noted, “so it’s a hit.”OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Brad Fouts, a Lake Oswego businessman, recently took over the Kelly Creek Sports Bar and Grill and has big plans for a revamped menu, service and live music.

Lunch options range from a $5 grilled cheese and $7.95 meatloaf sandwich to a TBA (turkey, bacon and avocado) for $10.95, and a breaded halibut fish sandwich for $13.50. Dinners, which come with salad, vegetables and choice of potato, include a meatloaf dinner or deep fried pork chops (each for $10.95) chicken cordon bleu for $14.50 and a 10-ounce ribeye steak for $19.95.

With many of the planned changes implemented, Fouts is looking forward to adding a new patio and summer events such as a car rally in the parking lot and an outdoor concert series on the green behind the large restaurant windows.

“I think Gresham was needing a good place where people can come and relax outside in the summer, and in the winter sit by the fireplace,” he said. “This place is going to pop, too.”OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The Kelly Creek Sports Bar and Grill on Northeast Division Street overlooks the driving range and practice green of the Gresham Golf Course.