THE CALOOSA CLUB – FINE DINING AT CAPE ROYAL GOLF COURSE

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It’s All About the Sauce!

Although publicized in local newspapers, many people aren’t aware of the rebirth of the Royal Tee Golf Course into the Cape Royal Golf Club, managed by Green Golf Partners. Tyler Arnold is the PGA General Manager & Head Professional.

Residents of the gated Cape Royal community purchased the property and leased it to Green Golf Partners last year, and they began rebuilding the 27-hole course. During that time the clubhouse was redecorated and it was refurbished with a new kitchen. The bar/dining area was changed to a full-service bar and restaurant named The Caloosa Club. It is run by Executive Chef Mark Thomas, Food and Beverage Director.

The Caloosa Club operates with the same goal as the Cape Royal Golf Club: to provide championship service, “A1 Service,” to customers from the time they arrive until the time they depart the property. Club employees strive daily to make all guests feel welcome.

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Chef Thomas brings a special mix of education, training and experience to The Caloosa Club. He came to Cape Royal from Lake Jovita Country Club and Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, near Clearwater. He earned his chef’s degree at Florida Culinary Institute where the study of sauces was his specialty. Afterwards, he trained under French and Italian chefs who say, “The sauce is the key to everything.” His career has involved, opening as many as nine restaurants and working for the well-known Veranda Restaurant in Tarpon Springs (1500 seats), formerly the famous Louis Pappas Greek restaurant. Some of the Caloosa Club’s most popular menu items are best-loved recipes from these other restaurants.

The club is one of the few local golf course-connected restaurants in the area that offers an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a kids menu. Selections include gourmet sandwiches, wraps, fancy pasta dishes, super-sized salads, tasty appetizers, soups and full size dinner entrees. Favorites like the 1905 Salad, Philly Cheesesteak, and the classic Reuben are additional choices beyond hamburgers and hot dogs. The most popular entree served is the prime rib dinner.

Menu selections are continuously reviewed by Chef Thomas for variety, and menu specials are developed daily and weekly. The chef also monitors serving sizes offered: he recently added two serving sizes of a Midwest soup named Chicken Booyah which is immensely popular. Food is prepared here from locally grown sources, and each diner’s meal is made to order. The restaurant’s growing popularity is reflected in the fact that it is now serving as many evening dinners as it is lunches.

Chef Thomas, who supervises a restaurant/bar staff of 12-20, also provides catering for community residents and the public at large. He develops special catered menus based on guests, and he plans every event and menu to be unique, whether it is for a ladies luncheon or a men’s golf dinner. The club also offers home delivery of meal orders to Cape Royal community residents. It will prepare orders in 20 minutes for anyone (including golfers) who calls ahead of his arrival.

The Caloosa Club’s fully stocked bar includes a choice of wines and craft beers. It hosts monthly wine tasting events, as well as quarterly beer tasting events. These activities are open to the public.

The Cape Royal Golf Club has experienced significant growth in the few months it has been open. Recently, a new golf league outside the community signed up for weekly games. Local business associations have noticed the positive transformation of the golf club and restaurant, and they are planning future events here. The Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce has selected the club for its annual golf outing here in March.

Recently, a charity golf event was held to benefit the Cape Royal Community Foundation, resulting in $6,000 being raised. The Hawaiian themed menu selected by Chef Thomas was quite different from what golfers might have expected. Chef Thomas stated that hosting these successful charity events is essential for the club’s growth.

More information about The Caloosa Club at 11460 Royal Tee Circle in Cape Coral can be obtained by checking its Facebook page or visiting caperoyalgolfclub.com. It is open 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, and 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. (when service stops) Wednesday through Saturday.

Non-residents going to the Caloosa Club for dinner should arrive at the community before front gates close at 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and before 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Other questions can be answered by phoning the pro shop at 239/283-5522.