Florida décor fits club to a tee

Jenn Armstrong, left, and Julie Wyville at the bar in the new Muddy Waters Liar’s Lounge at Greystone Golf Course on Confederation Street. Cathy Dobson

Julie Wyville credits a night of carousing in Florida last Christmas for the spectacular redesign of the clubhouse restaurant at her family’s golf course.

“This all sprung from that trip south,” she says, looking around the new Muddy Waters Liar’s Lounge at Greystone Golf Course.

For years the clubhouse had more of a licensed snack bar with seating for about 60 people inside and another 60 on the patio.

“We had a little bar with one stool and a very limited menu,” said Wyville.

When her father, Ray Stout, began thinking of a new paint job to spruce up the place, conversation in Florida turned to a much more elaborate plan.

Jenn and Tyler Armstrong, owners of Norm’s Pub and Grill on Exmouth Street, were also on that trip and Tyler began talking about the potential of the Greystone clubhouse.

“We had been so used to running it the same way,” said Wyville. “You know, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

“But Tyler looked at it with fresh eyes and said we could bring in a lot more people and parties with a full-service bar and restaurant.”

The Armstrongs teamed up with Wyville and her husband Jeff to start major renovations when they returned from Florida.  They gutted the place and did most of the work themselves.

A new 50-foot bar large enough to seat 17 was installed.  New walls went up. New equipment was purchased for the kitchen. Nine televisions and a new sound system went in, along with new décor and lighting.

“If we didn’t do most of the labour ourselves, it would have cost $100,000 easy,” said Wyville.

The revamped restaurant and bar opened in May once the golfing season began. The response has been very good, said Wyville.

“Our leagues are sticking around and eating, and the surrounding farm community comes to eat here too. We’re getting a lot of people who don’t golf.”

Two cooks and six part-time staff were hired to work in Muddy Waters Liar’s Lounge, which got its name from golfers who “stretch” their stories after a round, said Wyville, with a laugh.

Membership at Greystone has started to rise, particularly among the younger demographic.  Ultimately, the partners hope the restaurant and bar will stay open year-round.

Muddy Waters at 2218 Confederation Line is open Monday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays until 8 p.m. Wyville expects weekend brunch will be introduced July 19.

 

GOOD NEWS FOR RESEARCH PARKS

A Swedish research company took a look at university business incubators in 67 countries and ranked Western University’s research parks in Sarnia and London 22nd in the world.

Clients who use the parks generate positive economic impact for the region and have higher survival and growth rates than the global average, according to the Swedes.

The research company, called UBI, assessed 800 business incubators and ranked three Canadian sites in their top 25 including Western Research Parks, Ryerson University’s DMZ, and University of Alberta’s TEC Edmonton.

 

NETWORKING CRUISE

The annual Chamber of Commerce networking cruise is coming up July 16 on the Duc d’Orleans II. Tickets are $28 each for the three-hour social business event, which has a Hawaiian theme this year. Call 519-336-2400 for details. Members and non-members welcome.

 

Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca or call 226-932-0985.

– Cathy Dobson