The Dunes Shelter—Monterey Peninsula CC’s halfway house—generates 200 nightly covers and $1 million a year.
Hot dogs (and cold beer) are generally thought of as the extent of on-course “cuisine.”
Except at Monterey Peninsula Country Club (MPCC), Pebble Beach, Calif., where a $2.8 million renovation project transformed one of the club’s two halfway houses—The Dunes Shelter, located behind the 11th green on MPCC’s Dunes Course— into one of the club’s hottest dining outlets for golfers and non-golfers alike.
“It’s really a remarkable story,” says Colin Moody, MPCC’s Executive Chef. “The Dunes was a pretty standard little halfway house, much like the Shore Shelter is on our Shore Course. But the renovation transformed it. Now it has a casual, upscale feel that has drawn members in and created a fun place for them to hang out while enjoying some incredible food and wine.”
During the renovation in 2011, The Dunes’ outdoor deck was expanded and glassed-in, and fire pits and a wood-burning pizza oven were added. The kitchen was outfitted with compact but versatile equipment, including a grill, a flattop, burners and a fryer. Period wood tables added indoor seating, while the patio area was set with metal-framed, cushioned, comfortable furniture.
“We needed a larger casual, quick-service dining space,” say Moody, who has been with MPCC for six years. “The Dunes proved to be the perfect place to meet that need.”
The Dunes still serves breakfast, lunch and snacks to golfers, as originally intended. But it also now caters to casual diners looking for a scenic space to kick up their feet and enjoy Moody’s creative menus, which are heavy on locally grown, seasonal produce and fresh seafood straight out of Monterey Bay.
“The Dunes has a great lunch offering on the turn, and a fantastic night life, too,” says Moody, who runs a 35% food cost at MPCC. “Members can sit next to a fire pit and order a fresh-from-theoven pizza or a 16-oz., bone-in ribeye.”
The menu at The Dunes changes seasonally and features dishes such as a breakfast burrito, a light and delicious sand dab sandwich on a housemade Dutch crust roll, polish hot dogs, MPCC’s chili, and the famous Dunes burger, which is made on a locally made cheese roll and topped with avocado and chipotle aioli.
“The goal of the renovation was to meet the needs of the membership with efficiency of design,” says Moody. “We tried to put ourselves in our members’ shoes and ask, ‘What would make this experience even better?’ ”
Even with such a successful design and an inventive, fresh menu, challenges remain.
“It will always be a challenge to ensure that both casual diners as well as golfers get quick, quality service,” says Moody. “We know that speed of service, especially for golfers, is a top priority.”
Despite those hurdles, The Dunes is doing quite well, generating on average 200 nightly covers and over $1 million in revenue. (MPCC does $5.2 million in F&B revenue annually.)
In fact, the renovation was so successful that MPCC plans to use a similar approach when it eventually renovates and updates other F&B outlets at the club.
“The success of this project has set the tone for future planning,” says Moody.