It sits in a world-class location with gorgeous views and quiet surroundings, yet the restaurant at Granite Pointe golf course has struggled to find a loyal following over the last few years. Now, the crew responsible for one of the pillars of Nelson’s downtown dining scene is hoping to tap the tremendous potential in Rosemont.
Over the winter, the volunteer board of directors that runs the local golf course entered negotiations with the team at the New Grand Hotel (Louie’s Steak House and the Uptown Tavern). In February the two sides came to an agreement on a long-term lease for the food and beverage side of the operation. On Wednesday, a new era in dining opened at Granite Pointe.
“With them [Granite Pointe] being a membership-based club, they just didn’t have an interest in being involved in the business aspect of food and beverage anymore,” said New Grand food and beverage manager Rob Little. “They wanted someone up there with experience in the business in Nelson that had a successful track record.”
The 19th Hole Public House is now the newest dining option in Nelson.
“We want to really focus on the public part,” Little said of the choice of name for the golf course restaurant. “I think in the past there has been a misconception that the club is only open to the membership if you wanted to dine up here. Public house seemed to be a nice twist so people know they can come up and dine here at any time.”
Little said the menu is casual faire that focuses on value and is “a hybrid of a pub-style menu and upscale casual restaurant.”
At this point in the season The 19th Hole Public House is open for sit-down service from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The New Grand will also operate the concession part of the golf course which will start at 8:30 a.m.
So far the restaurant has undergone a few changes by adding five new big screen tvs, a custom awning for the patio, gas fireplace patio tables (on order) and new draft system.
Creating a new option for locals and visitors in Rosemont made sense for Little and the New Grand. Despite the struggles in recent years, Little is confident The 19th Hole Public Hole will catch on.
“We recognize that there are challenges,” said Little. “The golf course is actively working on creating more rounds of golf played up here and we are actively working on getting more food and beverage clients up here. By them not being a part of the food and beverage world anymore, the course can focus on just golf. It should make for a great team and get as many people up here as possible. It’s really a hidden gem in Nelson.”
Little will be hiring a manger for The 19th Hole Public House, but will be happily taking a hands-on approach up at Granite Pointe. An accomplished golfer himself, the 33-year-old Little is a member of the PGA of Canada, spent a few years in his younger days as a touring professional and is still one of the top players in the Kootenays. He grew up on the golf course with his father Pat being the head pro at the Vernon Golf and Country Club for 25 years and his mom Jackie one of the best female golfers in Canada. Jackie Little is an inductee in the BC Golf Hall of Fame.
As for the operation of The 19th Hole Public House, Little said he’ll keep it simple.
“I tell the staff [at the New Grand] everyday: I don’t need you to do 360 slam dunks, I need you to make lay-ups… that’s how you win games,” said Little. “By focusing on the fundamentals of a good quality product, good service and value, you rarely see a negative outcome.”
Out on the links this weekend, Granite Pointe will be offering free golf this Sunday starting at 11 a.m. It’s the course’s attempt to introduce people to the game and bring some excitement to the facility. Book your tee times at 250-352-5913.