Rows of evergreens open to the quasi-downtown area of Fall City, and on the corner of the busy intersection is the historic The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn, made famous by the cult television show Twin Peaks.
Fans of the show — also known as “Peaks Freaks” — often stop by to get a look at the venue’s alter ego, “The Bang Bang Bar.” The Roadhouse building served as the outside of the bar for the show, while the inside was shot at a different location. And locals love The Roadhouse for mid-morning brunch — the “ugly breakfast” piled with eggs, sausage, bacon, gravy, and biscuits is a favorite.
Rob Rosemont took over ownership of The Roadhouse in August 2016 after teaching history in high school for 15 years. The 46-year-old Sammamish resident said he felt he had another career left in him and wanted a change. He had only a few requirements — he wanted to be around people, and he didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle farm. During his search, he came across a for-sale listing for The Roadhouse and welcomed it as a new challenge.
“I’d always heard people say how tough the restaurant business is, and after doing it for (the last year), I can say everything they said is true,” Rosemont said.
Upon taking ownership, he made a few cosmetic updates — a fresh coat of paint, hardwood floors, new signage, and a modern website — and upgraded the menu. The menu retains all the classics but includes a few new items, including a selection of higher-end steaks.
During the summer, Fall City comes to life with floaters who come through on the Snoqualmie River, golfers, tourists, and, of course, Twin Peaks fans. A beer garden opened this summer in the grassy backyard of the building, with picnic tables, music, and games.
“My approach when I took over was, ‘Don’t be afraid to try new things,’” Rosemont said. “I don’t want to change anything that’s working well … But my approach is, ‘Don’t be afraid to try something once.’”
If you haven’t been to Snoqualmie Valley, you could do worse than to rent one of the quaint rooms at The Roadhouse, have a hearty meal, and explore the area’s beauty. Until then, turn the page to see what this teacher-turned-restaurateur does on a typical day.
I begin the day by enjoying a cup of coffee with my wife, Debbie. We are both small business owners and have busy days ahead, so we take some time in the morning to spend together.
As I arrive in Fall City this morning, I take a moment to appreciate this great little town nestled among the Douglas firs between Issaquah and North Bend.
By the time I arrive, Martin, Rusty, and Johnny already are in the kitchen getting ready for a busy day ahead.
Since I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast with Debbie, I enjoy my typical Roadhouse breakfast — an English muffin, two slices of crispy bacon, and homemade berry coulis.
Ali, one of our servers, takes food down from the kitchen window. The stainless-steel, diner-style window at The Roadhouse is one of my favorite parts of the building.
The restaurant has filled with breakfast customers. I regularly walk around and make sure everyone is happy.
I stop and say ”hi” to two of our regulars, Richie and Kelli, while they enjoy breakfast. Richie is also my son’s pitching coach for baseball.
Our bartender, Dave, strikes a pose behind the bar. I believe having a great staff is the key to any restaurant, and I am blessed to have that at The Roadhouse.
I head upstairs to check on things in the inn — a lot of our restaurant customers don’t realize that we have six rooms upstairs.
The first customers begin to show up for opening day of our new beer garden. We got lucky; the sun came out about an hour before opening.
We are lucky to have a large grassy lot on our property to host our beer garden; it is the perfect spot to sit and relax.
Back home in time to catch some sports coverage with my son, Eddie. It feels good to sit on the couch and relax.