Auburn-area residents have a new option when it comes to a fun night out on the town.
The Country Club of Auburn, a restaurant, bar and golf business, opened at the beginning of August with a goal of offering community members a safe way to get out and enjoy some time outside their homes.
“People really want to get out of their houses and do something and so that was the original goal,” Jonathan Davis, owner of the Country Club of Auburn, said. “We didn’t know that it was for that reason (COVID-19) or that there would be that much more of demand.”
Davis, who also owns four other area businesses, always knew he wanted to open a restaurant, but what he didn’t know a year ago when he finalized the concept for the Country Club of Auburn was that he would open it during a pandemic.
“We built a social concept in a social distance time,” he said. “I’ll feel more and more comfortable once we come out this.”
Davis planned to have the Country Club of Auburn open by the Masters in April, but then COVID-19 had other plans. Construction of the business slowed to a crawl, but despite taking longer than expected, Davis said it also gave them extra time to make sure the space was perfect.
“It not only gave us time to do what we expected to do but also add extra projects,” he said.
Davis was able to add a second bar, located outside, during the extra time he had due to COVID-19 and he was still able to accomplish his original goal: open before the Masters.
Davis built the Country Club of Auburn on the idea of “eat, drink, putt.”
“We wanted to do the eat, drink, putt is kind of the importance where one, we’re a restaurant, two, we’re a bar and three, we happen to have a course and all those are themed and aligned with a country club feel and kind of a golf feel,” he said. “I wanted to create something that you could spend more than an hour somewhere with a group of friends and be able to enjoy it.”
The food is the most important thing to the business. The food is scratch-made and is all $18 and under, a play on the 18 holes on a typical golf course.
“It’s staple items that you’d find on a nicer country club menu,” Davis said. “Our goal is to be inclusive.”
People have the option of either ordering counter service from the grill window or bar, or they could go outside and order from one of the cart servers. The bar is also expansive in both cost and options.
“You could still get a vodka and Sprite at the same price as one of the college bars downtown but you could also get a martini that would rival any of the cocktail bars in Auburn or Opelika,” Davis said.
The main feature of the Country Club of Auburn is the outdoor nine-hole golf course. Games cost no more than $10 per round and Davis plans to have discount days throughout the week.
“On a busy weekend or evening it’d be $10 but we’ll have it discounted throughout the week at different times where it could be as low as $2 or $5 for a round on the nine-hole course,” Davis explained.
The whole idea of combining the restaurant, bar and golf aspects was to create an atmosphere where people could come multiple times a week and have a different experience each time.
“We wanted to create is a place for every occasion, not just for a special occasion,” Davis said. “Whether it’s lunch with your coworkers, it’s date night on a Thursday evening and cocktails or it’s a big friend group on Saturday, you wouldn’t think twice about coming here three times in the same week.”
Despite not being able to open as early as planned because of COVID-19, the extra time gave Davis and his team extra time to see how to safely open the business.
“If we would have opened up in April, we would have been there having to do it on the fly like everyone else,” he said. “We’ve been able to see what other restaurants both locally, regionally and nationally have done to try to curtail the damages of COVID.”
Among the precautions put in place at the Country Club of Auburn are hand sanitizer stations located throughout the property, disinfecting golf balls and putters as well as having masks for each employee.
One of the biggest advantages the business has compared to others in the area is the amount of indoor and outdoor space.
“It’s by far the largest restaurant in Auburn even though you wouldn’t expect it just with the outdoor space,” Davis said. “There’s over 20,000 square feet to actually sit.”
Davis, however, has already started thinking ahead to what the restaurant will do if it has to close in the future due to COVID-19 regulations.
“We have some plans on how we can kind of handle certain things,” he said. “We’re ready to pivot to some to-go items and some private catering sorts of thing.”
The Country Club of Auburn is open Monday – Friday for lunch, dinner and late-night, Saturday for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night and Sunday for brunch, lunch and dinner. It is located at 1120 S. College St., Auburn.
For restaurant hours and more information, visit www.ccauburn.com.
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