Cheers Grill and Casino took over the old building that housed Happy Days Restaurant in Lakewood. The vintage cars and 1950s posters are gone, replaced by a sparkling sports bar with a venue for events and food I would never have expected. The change is remarkable, and since this is the fifth Cheers in Pierce County, management seems to have the recipe for success.
We sat near the windows but were more interested in the neon, pull tabs, electronic games and sporting events being shown on the 10 big TV s on the walls. A full bar, pool tables and rooms for larger groups were provided. There is handicap parking, but bathrooms were small.
There was a full menu with the usual burgers and beef offerings, but we wanted to try something that looked different so we ordered the Santa Fe Pizza ($9.95) and the California Wrap ($9.95). I had water but my companion ordered a Doctor Pepper for $1.99. The food was tasty, creative and like nothing we had before.
The pizza came on a Nan bread base. Nan is the Indian flat bread found with curry and lamb dishes. The toppings were sauteed red and green peppers, red onions, pepper jack cheese, and Philly steak shredded fine. It was perfectly cooked, the Nan was crisp and the seasonings were delicious. The steak and peppers were so tender each bite just melted in your mouth. This pizza was delicious.
The wrap was just as surprising and just as good. On a plate with a stack of seasoned crunchy fries, it was rolled in a bright orange corn tortilla and contained some of the most tender, flavorful turkey I have ever tasted. It also contained lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, avocado and mayo. The seasonings were again perfect, and we were so happy with the food that we asked who was cooking and our server, Keshia, said it was Jjust C.J.â€ and that both of them had been there since Cheers 5 had opened earlier in 2015.
There is a complete menu with steaks, chicken, and fish, but we were certainly happy with our choices.
If you go: Cheers is at the southern end of Bridgeport Way in Lakewood, in a large parking lot , just north of the Bridgeport exit from I-5.
Cheers Casino and Grill
15521 Bridgeport Way S., Lakewood
Open at 11 a.m. daily, closes at midnight except Friday and Saturday, when itâ€™s open until 2 a.m.
Carolyn Augustine, who writes the Senior Eats column for Senior Scene, is a freelance restaurant writer.