What started out as fun and games in the garage turned in to a viable business model for Kirsten and Mike and Lautenslager, owners of Fairways Indoor Golf Club in Spanish Fort.
Their feasibility study spurred a business plan which lead to funding and ultimately a site search. The demographics led them in the direction of Baldwin County and an Eastern Shore location with close proximity to the interstate. Fairways Indoor Golf Club opened its doors to the public in January of 2016 and is the only indoor golf facility in the Mobile/Baldwin County area.
Fairways houses high end golf simulators with 15 foot high definition screens. Each bay has a four camera system that sees launch angle, ball speed, deviation left and right and also takes a picture of the club at moment of impact. There are over 100 different courses along with practice driving and chipping applications and mini games. Real clubs and actual balls are used and up to eight people can play per simulator. Whether you are looking to try you hand at the sport, improve your game or some competitive fun with friends the facilities at Fairways can accommodate. You are welcome to bring your own clubs or you can rent a set for a nominal fee.
Fairways is a great venue for corporate or private events, birthday parties or even date night. If you don’t want to hit the links without drinks, that is not a problem. There is a full service bar with a large selection of craft and domestic beers, wine and a variety of spirits. Happy Hour is Monday through Saturday from 4pm until 7pm with $1 off beer, $5
pitchers, $4 well drinks and $2 off wine. They are not currently offering food but you are welcome to bring your own or have some delivered.
Fairways is always offering specials so make sure you like their Facebook page to keep up with the latest incentives. Every Wednesdays ladies play free from 6pm until 9pm. Sundays are 18 holes for $18 with $4 Bloody Marys and their newest special is offered on Monday – play 9 holes for $10 all day on Monday. There are also fun range games for younger players. Fairways opens at noon 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays). Make plans to “swing” by and check them out!
Fairways Indoor Golf Club • 25000 Bass Pro Dr, St 104, Spanish Fort • (251) 621-5277 www.fairwaysindoorgolfclub.com • Facebook “Fairways Indoor Golf Club”
Cheryl’s Cafe has been part of the Spanish Fort scene since December of 1998. When Cheryl Barnes first started her business the menu consisted of soups, salads, sandwiches complimented by one hot daily lunch special. As the cozy cafe gained momentum in the community, customers began to request more of the warm, comfort-type foods.
Their chalkboard menu now is host to at least four daily entrees with a large selection of veggies and side items from which to choose in addition to a soup or two and a couple of feature salads. They also have a menu of specialty sandwiches that include a Monte Cristo, Rueben, Turkey Avocado and their signature Chicken Salad – just to name a few. And don’t forget dessert! All are homemade and the Banana pudding and Dream pie are always available in addition to a few others that rotate.
Cheryl’s son, Mitch Murphy, joined the operation on a full time basis in 2009. Since then, he has taken over the daily kitchen responsibilities allowing Cheryl to concentrate efforts on catering. Mitch prides himself on the prompt expedition of product and friendly customer service. They also take the extra time and effort to procure all the meats, produce and other ingredients that are used in their kitchen. “I run myself ragged, but I’m not going to serve anything that I would not eat” says Barnes. Needless to say, it has paid off. They start serving at 11am and stay busy until they close at 2:30pm. The menu is posted daily on their Facebook page. They added outside seating to better accommodate all of their patrons and before years end an expansion will be underway. An additional 600 square feet will be added to the existing structure to give them a little more room to grow their business and allow for more seating and kitchen space. Stop by Monday through Friday and experience some spectacular Southern goodness from Cheryl’s Cafe.
Cheryl’s Cafe, 6580 Spanish Fort Blvd, Spanish Fort • (251) 626-2602 • Facebook “Cheryl’s Cafe”
Not only is Beef ‘O’ Brady’s a Family Sports Bar, it is owned and operated by a local family, The Kesslers. Linda and Larry Kessler often frequented a Florida Beef ‘O’ Brady’s while raising their two sons. They really enjoyed the kid friendly atmosphere, sports focus and the fact that the company was vested in supporting local youth sports and various community events. Larry and sons, Nick and Joel, always talked about opening a restaurant and with such fond memories of the times they spent at “Beef’s” they decided to invest in their very own franchise. It was almost ten years ago when the first Beef ‘O’ Brady’s opened in Spanish Fort.
Recently the Kesslers completed an expansion and remodel of the restaurant that added 1,200 square feet to the existing 3,000 square feet. The enhancements include a private meeting area/party room, a bigger game room and an enlarged bar area. Twenty taps are now host to a variety of domestic, imports, craft beers and even some local ales from area breweries. There are 34 HD TVs for the best game time TV viewing on the Eastern Shore. On May 28th the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s team will celebrate with a Re-Grand Opening Celebration. Join them for all day specials, a bounce house for the kids and live music.
Beef’s expansive menu is sure to have something for everyone. Appetizers include savory shareables, flatbreads and dips. Award winning wings come in boneless or traditional with several different flavors and degrees of heat. Beef’s burgers are made from fresh Angus beef and cooked to order. Entrees include ribs, fajitas, fish, grilled shrimp and grilled chicken. Baskets can be host to a multitude of different tacos (steak, chicken or fish), fried shrimp, chicken tenders or beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. Featured sandwiches are a Roast Beef Garlic Melt, Prime Rib Sandwich, California Turkey Melt, a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Philly Cheesesteak, a Reuben, a Cuban, Southern Fried Chicken Tender Sliders and their trademarked Watterson Sandwich. There is even a pizza menu that is available after 5pm, Monday through Friday. Kids ages 12 and younger have a nice selection from which to choose and there is even a Weekday Value Menu featuring a different entree at a special price Monday through Friday. Be sure to stop in and see what’s new! Open daily from 11am until 9pm, a and 11am until 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 6450 U.S. Highway 90, Spanish Fort • (251) 447-0660 • Facebook “Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Spanish Fort”
After moving to the Eastern Shore, Greg and Jill Peterson became hooked on the product that Mark Bentz was putting out at his previous restaurant. Greg has a passion for Italian food and has had the opportunity to experience some well known big city Italian restaurants. He and his family enjoyed Mark’s food for years and were loyal patrons of the Pittsburgh native who honed his skills at Tessaro’s in Bloomfield – Pittsburgh’s own Little Italy. When Peterson learned that Bentz was available, he asked Mark to partner with him and his wife Jill to open a restaurant. They looked at a several locations in Mobile and in Fairhope but when they found this particular Spanish Fort spot they knew it was meant to be. There was a definite need in the area for a non-chain, Italian restaurant and they were going to be it! Greg envisioned Mark behind the glass in the exhibition kitchen hand tossing fresh pizza dough as part of the ambiance of the establishment. From the time they purchased the property in February until opening in May it has been an all hands on deck, do-it-yourself project. When Greg wasn’t working or sleeping he was building the bar, landscaping, painting and transforming what once was an ice cream shop into TRATTORIA PIZZA AND ITALIAN.
Everything they serve is made from scratch. Breads and pizza dough are made daily. The sauces and dressings are homemade and even cheese is grated by hand. The pizza is the traditional thin and crispy variety and available in small, medium or large. You can stick with the basic pizza pie, build your own or go with one of their specialty combinations. Calzones are also available. The appetizer menu includes bruschetta, garlic balls, cheesy bread and a blackened tuna quesadilla – just to name a few. They serve a variety of salads, to which you can add your choice of chicken, steak or tuna. Their sandwiches are served hot and with your choice of side. Italian Steak, Philly Steak, Chicken Philly Steak, Chicken Cordon Blue, Tuna Steak, Muffaletta, Meatball and more are part of the sandwich menu.
Entrees include Greg’s Favorite, the Baked Ziti and Mark’s Favorite, Sesame Encrusted Tuna along with Chicken Picatta, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Cheese Ravioli, Seafood Ravioli and Vegetable Pasta.
There is a full bar at Trattoria Pizza and Italian. It is situated just beyond the dining area but is not sectioned off therefore adding to the family feel that the proprietors are striving for.
The response they have seen thus far is “beyond their wildest dreams”. This trio is pleased to be able to provide their community a huge serving of hospitality in an inviting atmosphere with some of the best pizza and Italian food around. They have an outdoor patio behind the building with a sand play area for the kids and look forward to providing you with live evening entertainment on weekends. They are open every day from 11am until. Trattoria Pizza and Italian, 11611 US Hwy 31, Spanish Fort (251) 375-0076 • Facebook “Trattoria Pizza & Italian” • http://www.TrattoriaPizzaSF.com Continue reading “News Anchor and Pittsburgh native go Italian”