Fairfield selectmen approve $318,000 lease for golf course concessions
FAIRFIELD — Food and drinks will soon be served at the new clubhouse at the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course.
The selectmen recently approved a five-year lease, totaling more than $318,000, with the Steelepoint Restaurant Group LLC for food and liquor concessions at the new clubhouse at the course. The board approved the lease unanimously and with little discussion at a recent meeting.
Under the agreement, Steelepoint will pay the town about $60,000 annually to operate there, up from the $50,000 the town was originally projecting. Parks and Recreation Department Director Anthony Calabrese said that shows there is a market for that type of restaurant at the golf course.
If the restaurant does more than $2 million in business, the town would also get two percent of that as well, Calabrese said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
The clubhouse construction is slated to be finished in November, just before Thanksgiving. It would open then if the weather permits golfing. The restaurant would open in Janurary or February, Calabrese said.
Calabrese said the Purchasing Authority recommended the company.
“Steelepoint Restaurant Group was the one that was offering the highest fixed rent year-over-year and, honestly, the vision that was most in-line with what the Gold Commission envisioned up at the new clubhouse,” he said.
He added that vision includes a restaurant that was going to bring in people and families from the surrounding area — not just golfers.
“They wanted a group that’s going to be able to cater to the golfers during the day and, then, say after 4 or 5 o’clock at night and on the weekends, essentially be a restaurant that people are coming to from Easton, Trumbull, up the line,” he said. “Rather than driving up Black Rock Turnpike, or to downtown Fairfield, they’re actually stopping at the golf course.”
Calabrese said the commission envisions events and gatherings throughout the winter months as well — a time when the course is typically closed.
Town Director of Purchasing Gerald Foley said the winning bid was determined based on a variety of factors including the financial benefit; the restaurant concept and design; the menu; the days and hours of operation; the bidder’s qualifications and strength; and the comprehensiveness of the proposal.
“They came up as the (best qualified) among all the members of the Fairfield Gold Commission,” Foley said. “I reviewed (the application) on my end and I concurred with the recommendation.”