Friends and owners John Grollmus and Brad Fosseen had a vision: to open their own restaurant in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and in 1996 they did just that. At that time, Coeur d’Alene had limited options when it came to dining out, and Moon Time opened the doors to something a bit different than the town was used to.
“Initially, right out of the gates, we didn’t do so well,” says John. “Brad and I would joke that we built a really great place for our family and friends to hang out.” There were a few variables that played into the situation. There was road work on Sherman Avenue that went from Seventh Street past Moon Time during the first summer they were opened. But as John recalls, after the road work was done and Moon Time had settled in, business turned a corner. And once their one-year anniversary hit, they started seeing more diners, and from then on, the clientele grew exponentially.
“One of the things we’re most proud of is that Moon Time seems to appeal to people from all walks of life,” says John.
Any local will tell you Moon Time is a very casual, comfortable place to hang out. It’s like its own community. There are customers who have been going there for 20 years, who are still seeing the same staff who has been working there nearly or just as long. “It’s great watching families grow up, to see our young employees grow into adulthood; the regulars who came in with their babies, who are now old enough to order a beer at the bar,” John says.
Throughout the years, Moon Time has always offered its guests consistency. Offering great food at a reasonable price, paired with excellent service and a familiar face has always been their goal. Guests get what they have come to expect.
The menu, from the start, has featured unique and upscale pub food bringing a variety of items from many different cultures together. From the gumbo, to the lamb burger to the tacos; there are a lot of flavors for guests to choose from. Each Thursday, there are two new weekly specials offered.
One item you’ll always find guests talking about is the roasted corn pasta, which originally started out as a side dish for their chicken Caesar soft taco. After people kept asking for it, they decided to make it a staple menu item.
“I think the thing that makes us different is our unique menu,” says John. “We are always trying to do stuff you won’t find anywhere else.”
John and Brad care about the success of their restaurants, but even more importantly, they care about their employees. They are not blind to the realities of life, and it is important to them to take care of those who work for them. That is just one reason they try to pay better than any other restaurant in the area.
Manager and chef Chris Schultz of Moon Time has been invaluable to the restaurant almost since its inception. He was hired when Moon Time was just three months young and has been with them ever since. As John says, “Chris is an essential asset. He runs the show.”
As for the bar, it may not have the biggest tap selection in town, but know that the beer is always rotating and fresh. There is a lot of time and energy put into selecting just the right brews for their 19 handles to complement the food. And there is always a rotating beer special. As for the wines, guests can choose from a wide variety, including Washington wines.
Those looking for entertainment won’t be disappointed. Each Thursday, Moon Time offers live music starting at 9pm showcasing local artists and touring acts. Thursday is also dollar pint night. This is a weekly favorite of both locals and visitors alike!
With Moon Time being a neighborhood favorite for Coeur d’Alene diners, John and Brad wanted to bring a similar concept to the Hayden community. In 2003, they opened The Porch Public House in Hayden Lake. They found the perfect neighborhood location to bring another great community restaurant to the people. The Porch features many similar menu items to Moon Time, with some that are distinct to its locale. One big difference is that it offers a full bar and cocktails.
John and Brad also own The Elk Public House, El Que, Two Seven Public House and Geno’s Traditional Food and Ales in Spokane.
With all of the success these friends and business partners have secured in the restaurant business, Brad says what makes him truly proud is that guests keep coming back and have become friends. And through all the years and six restaurants later, John and he are still friends.
When in Coeur d’Alene or Hayden and looking for a great neighborhood pub, pull up a chair at Moon Time or The Porch. They’re ready to serve you the best!
Moon Time East Coeur d’Alene
1602 E. Sherman Ave.
1658 E. Miles Ave.