As the city’s golf course undergoes a revival, it gets a new eatery for hungry linksters.
Those who know Vivan Early will find her latest restaurant venture par for the course.
For that matter, the same can be said for her sister-in-law, Vicki Handyside.
The two — both familiar faces in either restaurant or golf circles, depending on how you know them — have partnered together to bring back dining at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.
Their “Bogey’s On The Green” opened in April, serving soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and is an important piece of what has been a restoration at the municipal course under new management.
The two men stepped in as operators in January 2014. For about seven months before that, the course was operated on an interim basis by the city and Walla Walla Community College’s golf and turf management programs. That arrangement was created after the city severed ties with We-Man Vets Golf Inc. at the end of an 18-year partnership that had been languishing.
With the property and operation back on course, Handyside, a golfer who is also married to Early, decided to bring back food.
Her sister-in-law was the perfect partner. Vivian Early, already known for The 19th Hole when it operated at Vets years ago, had most recently been floor manager at The Oasis before it closed down. She had worked at an array of other eateries before that.
It’s no surprise then that she’s taken the lead on the service side of the operation, the partners said during a recent sit down at their dining room overlooking the course.
She’s even brought back the clam chowder that was in high demand when she and her husband, Dennis, ran The 19th Hole. Customers are already bringing in their own to-go containers to get it, she said.
There’s no doubt for the duo that the demand for food has been there.
The city golf course needs a cafe,” Early said.
But spreading the word and getting bodies in the building has always been a challenge for the golf course eateries, Handyside recognized.
“It’s not downtown. It’s off the beaten track. People forget about it,” she said.
Consequently, the initial target market is the golfers.
“It was more a labor of love for the people,” Handyside said.
Bogey’s On The Green offers breakfast and lunch. The location at the 9th hole also is the perfect spot to run out boxed orders to golfers who call ahead, Handyside said.
In the meantime, they figure the two of them can handle about 32 in the dining room at once.
Bogey’s On The Green operates 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.
Photo by Greg Lehman