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McCloud’s Grill House

In 2010, Andy Graham bought a Western-themed bar in Bremerton, Washington, on Puget Sound. He turned it into McCloud’s Grill House, a steakhouse that hosts community events and dances, too.

How would you describe McCloud’s in just a few words?

We’re a steakhouse, but I look at it as more of a community-activity steakhouse. My Rotary Club meets here, for example.

The restaurant hosts events, including dance lessons. Can you tell us about that?

We do swing dance lessons on Wednesday nights, and that brings a crowd. We do line dance lessons on Friday and Saturday nights. McCloud’s was a Western-themed bar when I bought it. I’ve moved it a little more toward being a restaurant, which gives us more legs. We do large parties, too; we can fit up to 200 easily.

What prompted you to buy McCloud’s?

I’m a residential and commercial real estate guy, and I was trying to sell this building. I used to build restaurants and started thinking, “This would be a perfect place for a steakhouse.” So I wound up buying my own listing. I made a decision to change it into more of a steakhouse than just a bar.
I wanted it to be for the community.

What are some of your signature dishes?

We have a really nice line of hamburgers. I always judge a restaurant on whether they can make a great burger. We make a lot of our own sauces, too. Everything is pretty much made from scratch. Sysco gives us a lot of good products. Our other signature dishes would be the tomahawk steak, prime rib and rib-eye steaks. We do a lot of pastas and a lot of salads, too.

What items do you source from Sysco?

We get all our meat through Sysco: our steaks, our burgers. We use a brisket–short rib mix and quite a few other products—anything from our pastas to our salads. We also get a lot of produce and our fresh salmon from Sysco.

Sysco has a lot of programs that help small businesses. … Their online ordering system has simplified things for us.

Andy Graham, Owner

How else has Sysco been a partner in your success?

Sysco has a lot of programs that help small businesses. The inventory-management programs are really good at helping the kitchen manager do inventory. Their on- line ordering system has simplified things a lot for us. That really helps our kitchen manager save time. She can do all her orders really quickly. Time is the biggest issue in this business, and she just does a heck of a job with what Sysco offers.

Do you have a favorite Sysco product?

The steaks have done really well. We get really nice comments on the rib-eyes, the prime rib and the tomahawks. We’ve gotten the most incredible comments on the burgers, too. People look at me and go, “My God, this is a really good hamburger.” You wouldn’t think something as commonplace as a burger would have such a major effect, but it does. People love them.

What does the future hold for McCloud’s?

Well, I’ve got to make a decision. Do I want to expand? A lot of people are pushing me to open a second location.