Josh Henderson is savvy; in less than two months he answered demand with a bacon-cheddar burger. Still, Why would we want to be like everybody else? could be stitched onto the waitstaff’s baseball jerseys. Henderson confounds expectations, like when he turned kale into comfort food at his Skillet empire (now in other hands) or launched Hollywood Tavern way out in Woodinville, or blew up the waterside fish house cliche by building Westward out of Greek food and ironic decor.
But Quality Athletics is his unlikeliest yet: A bona fide postmodern sports bar. The crisp windowy space is clean and contemporary with bright green banquettes and long team tables with old school chairs; a shelf of gleaming trophies at the entry and a wall of lockers lining one side of the bar (which can be sealed off into a party room by a clever vertical-slider Ping-Pong table). Even so, it wasn’t until I spied the Astroturf carpet that I got the wink. This isn’t a sports bar; it’s a commentary on a sports bar.