When the Stonehouse Golf Club closed its course in 2017, weeds began to grow up along the once-smooth course and the green slowly changed to brown.
With the decline of the golf course, the restaurant adjacent to the course also shuttered.
A Norge business owner is bringing life back to the restaurant, now called 501 Bar and Grill at Stonehouse. The restaurant will be open to the public, not only golfers.
Mo Boulftali, the owner of Jimmy’s Oven and Grill in Norge, signed the lease at the former Stonehouse Grille in March.
The restaurant plans to open officially June 17, said Glenn Wurdemann, the restaurant’s operations manager. Renovations are underway, adding new flooring, new equipment and a new bar, Wurdemann said.
The restaurant comes as the golf course’s new owner, Joe Sanders, works to revitalize the dilapidated golf course. James City County property information shows the course was bought in December 2018 for $800,000.
The golf course is set to open back up this July, according to a post by the Stonehouse Golf Club on Facebook.
“It’s beginning to look like a golf course again,” Wurdemann said.
The restaurant will hold up to 400 people and be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wurdemann said.
It will serve typical American fare with some specialty dishes. The menu is currently being designed and reviewed, Wurdemann said.
It will also have a “signature dining room” open in the evenings, which will have linen napkins and a special signature menu. Those in the signature dining room can still order off the regular menu, and others in the regular dining room can order off the signature menu, Wurdemann said.
Customers can choose any menu for take out.
Another perk for golfers: a delivery golf cart that will bring food and beverages to those out on the green.
The restaurant is currently hiring for most positions, including bartenders, food cart drivers, kitchen support staff, dishwashers, wait staff, hosting staff and more.
Chef and Williamsburg native Brian Fothe will lead the kitchen, Wurdemann said.
While the restaurant will fill the once-vacant space, Wurdemann said 501 Bar and Grill will also fill a void in the restaurant scene in the Stonehouse area. There are few restaurants that far northwest in the county, he said.
“There’s a need for a good restaurant at this end of town,” Wurdemann said.
Above all, Wurdemann said the atmosphere will set 501 Bar and Grill at Stonehouse apart.
“You won’t be rushed in and rushed out,” he said. “If you want to sit here and chat, you can sit here and chat. This is why we feel like we have something that’s … so needed in this area.”