FF golf course restaurant has new name, opening datePublished 11:10am Monday, March 4, 2013
Tavern 59 sits at the edge of town, away from other city shops and restaurants. But Robynn Navatto, manager of the new eatery at Pebble Lake Golf Course, is determined to make it a mainstay in the Fergus Falls community.
Navatto, who brings experience from her years running a New York and Los Angeles based talent promotion firm and bartending at the Underwood Legion, hopes some small town charm and big city sensibility will make that happen.
With a growing number of families moving outside of the city, Navatto feels the time is right for a sit-down establishment that caters to those looking for a pleasant place to have a drink and a meal.
“I think we’ve got a niche here,” said Navatto. “With the growth of the golf course area, there’s people who want to find a place to come.”
With her New York demeanor, Navatto has not wasted any time getting business started. As the golf course prepared for its annual Frozen Fairways event at the tavern this past Saturday, Navatto saw the opportunity to stay open early for the season, even as snow covers the ground.
“What I thought was if we were just going to wait for the first golfer,” said Navatto. “That could be six weeks from now. So I figured let’s just reach out to the community.”
Starting this week, Tavern 59 will be open for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays in March. The bar and restaurant will feature drink and appetizer specials, a variety of lunches, hamburgers and, another touch of Navatto’s New York past, Nathan’s hot dogs.
March will also feature an Easter Sunday brunch on the 31st and another for Mother’s Day that will include makeovers for moms.
In May, Tavern 59 will expand its hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and open every day of the week. The menu will also change after Labor Day to include an extensive list of sandwiches and other meals, and the food will feature products from businesses like Premier Meats and Falls Baking Company.
With the economy still recovering, Navarro said keeping menu prices low will also be a priority.
“When I first moved here, I was surprised at how expensive everything was,” she said. “We’re trying to keep the quality up but make things affordable for people so they can bring their families out here and not break the bank.”
With pull tabs, a new game room and a carnival planned for the summer, some might think the establishment is moving away from its golfing base. But Navatto said she believes larger crowds would mean more business for the golf course.
“We want to keep focused on our golf members, but, at the same time, we want new people.” Navatto said. “Who knows? They might like golf all of the sudden.”
Now that they’re set to open, Navatto sees her staff as the final touch to a great business that will attract many in the community.
“I know from when I started golfing, you don’t feel comfortable because you don’t know if you have to be a member or if you have to be a golfer.” she said. “But I think we are going to make people feel really welcome when they come here.”
Navatto has one goal for Tavern 59, and that is to introduce people to golf and great food, all at the same time. Whether they enjoy one, the other or both, she will be satisfied.
“I want people to come, I want us to remember who they are, and I want to have fun, because that’s what it’s about.”