A Q&A with Shawn Wilson of Game Time Bar & Grill
Shawn and Amy Wilson’s goal for Game Time Bar & Grill was to be a neighborhood family place.
“And that’s what it’s turned out to be,” Shawn said. “Most of our customers are coming from a mile or two of our restaurant. We try to keep our prices affordable for most people.”
Game Time, which celebrated its third anniversary on September 15, is an unexpectedly spacious and modern place for a sports bar in a strip mall. And the pub grub-style is reliably excellent.
Here, Shawn talks about the Game Time game plan.
Q. You and Amy own the Roosters in Jackson Township, right?
A. “We do. Amy’s dad started Roosters in the 1980s, and there’s at least 30 units now. Her uncle has a chain of restaurants on the west side of Ohio called Fricker’s. So she comes from a restaurant family background.”
Q. I like the wide-open feel at Game Time.
A. “Game Time was a chance for us to create our own concept. Obviously, we were familiar with the sports-bar family-restaurant atmosphere, but we wanted an open space where everyone felt they were involved from front to back when there’s a sporting event. Also, I’m kind of a stickler on cleanliness. We definitely keep things up to shape.”
Q. What’s it like at Game Time during a big game? There’s lots of TVs.
A. “We pack it, especially with the Buckeyes. Everybody wants to be around other people who are cheering. We fill up pretty fast when there’s a Browns or Steelers game, and we take reservations. We had great crowds for the Cavs this year, especially in the playoffs. We hope that continues with LeBron gone.”
Q. I have tried a lot of your food, and everything has been good.
A. “We always felt the basis of Game Time is the food, so the kitchen is the focal point. We hired Brian Fisk as our chef. He’s been in this area a long time. He makes soup from fresh ingredients start to finish in our kitchen, and it’s amazing. He makes stuffed green pepper soup, seafood chowder, wild mushroom soup. It sells incredibly well. We have all the staples of casual dining on our menu: wings, burgers, pizza, salads. All of our chicken is fresh, our beef is fresh, never frozen.”
Q. My favorite is the jalapeño poppers made with wonton wrappers.
A. “Amy invented those. It’s our No. 1 selling appetizer.”
Q. And there’s desserts, too, right?
A. “Brian also makes the desserts. He makes an apple pie with cinnamon rolls as the crust that’s incredible. He makes fresh cheesecakes with Heath bars and Oreo cookies and stuff like that. He bakes at least two pies a weekend, and they’re usually gone by Sunday. His desserts are remarkable.”
Game Time Bar & Grill:
5153 Tuscarawas St. W, Perry Township. For more information, visit GameTimeOhio.com or call 330-956-5471.