Yes he is the original owner, he owns the building and runs his real estate development business from there as well. R & P has always been a vanity project but over the years Richards attention to details has slipped. He is another one who would have benefited greatly by having a good FOH manager.
Last night I decided to stop in and see what was going on. I was only in the foyer of this building once and that was 20 years ago, however from my memory nothing has changed. It’s been cleaned up but the same emerald green marble columns and red wood walls and floor inlays are all still in place. I’m assuming the green plaid carpeting is new, but the place is reminiscent of a Golf Country Club House circa 1980. As I approached the bar room, the only room that is open, I thought I could faintly hear Ty Webb talking to Danny Noonan about their match today against Judge Smails…when suddenly Al Czevik burst into the room in the loudest plaid pants I had ever seen.
Sorry I digress. For those of you who don’t know I have been a long time fan of the Raven and Peach in Fair Haven which is the Polo Clubs older sister. While I’m holding out high hopes that the Polo Club would be reminiscent of Raven and Peach of 15 years ago, I think my hopes are going to be greatly disappointed.
The bar room has a large circle bar, that can easily seat 40 people, they have about 12 bar stools. The tables in the room are haphazardly set up, some with chairs, some without, 20 empty chairs line the wall. There was nobody to greet you, it’s first come first serve. The beer taps aren’t hooked up, the room isn’t “finished” with painting etc. and even their POS system has wires laying across the floor. Plainly said it’s a complete mess, I’m surprised the township allowed them to open, although I know it was a forced issue to open.
The kitchen is an open concept you can see right into it, it seems once the dining room is open you might be able to sit at a kitchen bar. The dining room area is completely gutted, I was offered a tour by the bartender, whom I know well from the Raven but I declined.
The kitchen while “open” is working off a limited menu of about a dozen appetizer type items, nothing appealed to me and honestly I had no interest in staying beyond my one drink.
We all knew this was yet another vanity project by Richard, the owner, however I feel his vanity has slipped a bit in recent years. This seems more like a kid being forced to do his homework before he’s allowed out to play than any serious venture being produced with an ounce of pride.
The place did have a decent crowd, probably 40 people maybe a dozen occupying all chairs at the bar and the rest at tables. There was 1 server working and only 1 person in the kitchen seeming to cook, clean, wash etc, if there was anyone else they kept him well hidden.
I truly hope I’m proven wrong but after seeing what I did last night as a “soft opening” I have very low expectations for The Polo Club. They have a long way to go to even be considered a truly “functioning” establishment.
I can’t get past this yet…laughing too hard!
What kind of things were on the menu? Prices?
A few pasta’s, sliders, wings, salads things like that. I was in the mood for a sit down dinner so honestly I just glanced at the menu, but the atmosphere had me so turned off I didn’t pay that much attention. (as I mentioned it was standing room only at the spacious bar because they only had 12 stools. lol) According to the bartender they are shooting for a setting similar to the Raven, but they are a long way from that thus far.
Thanks, too bad. I’ve been passing this place for years wondering if/when it would be anything interesting.
sorry to hear of your experience but sadly this is exactly what I expected for this spot based on the info you had provided.
Actual video of me attending the formal grand opening:
was literally just watching this last night.
Hopefully you got better service than Dr Beeper.
Do you think this spot will do ok or fizzle?
Big hitter the lama.
Now that I’ve watched caddy shack recently I’ll prob have to go to back to school or easy money now
Listen, the guy has kept the property vacant and the license on a shelf for 20 years. He’s proven he doesn’t need any revenue from the location. So from strictly a business P&L perspective he needs to do such little business to break even (mind you breaking even to him is to just match the losses he was carrying while the business was closed for 20 years) it would be next to impossible not to “make it”.
Given the money in the area and the lack of any immediate competition it’s almost impossible for it to fail. At minimum it will become nothing more than a club house hang out of a few dozen wealthy locals to drink and that will be enough to keep the lights on, which in my initial observation is the only goal.
Realizing that criticizing a restaurant’s landscaping is likely to bring down the wrath of God, or at least the wrath of the owner, the Polo Club seems determined to keep a low profile by letting the shrubbery completely hide its roadside sign.
Drove by yesterday on the way home from Red Bank (with a bag of Tino’s BBQ in the car). Empty parking lot at noon. Web page mentions a spring 2021 re-opening. Not holding my breath.
Any recent Intel on this place? A friend was asking me about it.
I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I last paid a visit to this place. Before the pandemic!?!?! I had a life before the pandemic?? Anyway, Friday Night (St Paddy’s Day) I was too busy for cooking and decided to just go out, no I’m not Irish. lol
We decided to give The Polo Club a try, assuming on a holiday like St. Patrick Day, I figured the likes of pubs would be more crowded than a fine dining restaurant, but I was wrong. Walked in 6:30 party of 3 and had to wait 30mins for a table without a reservation. While all I was able to see on my first visit was a dining room under construction, I will say the space is beautiful. (at least to me) For anyone who has read my posts for a while you will know their sister restaurant; The Raven and the Peach, has been one of my favorite local restaurants. (not saying it’s always been the best, but the ambiance and sentimental value is very meaningful to me)
Well, I can honestly say the Polo Club has an incredible vibe and ambiance about it. Exposed brick, emerald, green marble and carpet an open kitchen and two bars, one large/lounge TV etc. one smaller, quiet and more conducive to the dining environment. I saw a few common staff from the Raven which remains closed, so it was nice catching up with them.
Service was nice and friendly, he environment I love, and the menu was pretty decent. Orders consisted of:
Cauliflower Bites (like cauliflower bang bang shrimp)
Salad was good, I mean it’s a salad, lol it was good but not exceptional etc. The cauliflower was excellent, nicely cooked and very tasty.
Entrees: I got the 16 oz NY Strip “prime cut” @ $49. - 1 3oz. yes Three Ounce Filet Mignon and one Salmon over rice pilaf (or something) Sides were- Mac N Cheese and Creamed spinach.
Steak was fine, nice char on it cooked perfectly. The 3-ounce filet mignon got high marks especially for its size by my daughter and my wife enjoyed the salmon very much.
All in all, a very positive experience in another wonderful environment. The Polo Club if it maintains its quality will be around for a while. That seems apparent by its popularity already. I will definitely be back; my only regret was I quit drinking because I really like both bars and the vibe of the place.
I encourage all to come and experience for yourself if you are looking for a nice dinner out, this is an excellent option.
(Full disclosure, the Owner Richard I have known casually for 20+ years. I approached him about a joint venture for he Raven and he continually shot me down. At nearly 80 (my guess) I’m shocked he was able to put this place together and get it going. God bless him. I do hope he gets the Raven back open, without me ((sigh)) because I do miss it, but Richard’s brand of restaurants remains strong)
This is great news for me as I go past this place every day.
Can’t wait to try