The Clubhouse Pub, which is located at 1565 Plainfield Pike, held its official grand opening last Friday night. Friends and customers sampled food and drinks, but it was also a reunion of sorts for co-owners Dan Giroux and Eric Maluk.
Giroux, who grew up in West Warwick, always wanted to own a restaurant. Maluk, who still lives in his native Coventry with his wife Kerri and 5-year-old daughter Taylor, always wanted to own a bar.
So when their paths crossed as partners in A-Plus Mortgage of Warwick, their shared dream came to light.
"We saw the place, which was formerly Roland's Café, online and that it was for sale," said Giroux. "We had been talking about doing something like this for a while."
After doing more research about the two-room facility that includes a bar area that seats 22 and a dining room with another 40-plus seats, Giroux and Maluk came to the same conclusion.
"This was a good fit and we could turn the storefront into a nice neighborhood lounge," Giroux said.
Judging from the turnout last Friday evening, the concept for the Clubhouse Pub, which has only been open for 10 days, will be a successful one in Johnston.
Giroux, whose father Ed is a five-time town councilman in West Warwick and now works for the Rhode Island Department of Education, enjoys playing pool. So does Lou Zabbo, who lives in Coventry and often competes with Giroux in local American Pool Association competitions. Clubhouse will give them another outlet for friendly competition.
"What a great spot," Zabbo said. "You can play pool and watch the Bruins hockey game on that television."
There are four wide-screen televisions in the Clubhouse Pub, one 60-inch screen in the dining room and three with screens of 55, 42 and 32 inches in the bar area, where there's also a pool table.
"I originally wanted this to be a sports bar," said Giroux, who after high school went into the U.S. Army and later went to Rhode Island College where he thought he'd become an elementary school teacher. "But we also like the lounge concept and that's when Eric came up with the name."
The Clubhouse Pub has a signature dish, too. While the menu includes 13 appetizers, salad, soups, sandwiches, pasta and more, the owners decided to take a page from the popular television show "Man vs. Food."
"I love that show, but we wanted to have fun and that's why there's the Clubhouse Challenge. That's a combination of all six club sandwiches (turkey, tuna, BLT, cheeseburger, hamburger and chicken) on the menu. They're piled 18 inches high ... if you eat every one, you get a free T-shirt," Giroux said, adding that the challenge is $24.95.
The menu also features daily specials, like Meatloaf Monday, and a variety of pizza and burger toppings that allow customers to customize their order. Refreshments include domestic, imported and draught beers, and many wines. Paul Randall has been brought on as manager, and new customers can expect entertainment to make its way onto the calendar, including karaoke every Thursday, starting at 8:30 p.m.
"I like what they're doing," Giroux's father Ed said while enjoying a fish 'n chips dinner with a group of friends. "This is great. And I'm fussy, but they're good and not all greasy like some places. I'll have to come again and make sure that that wasn't a mistake."
For more information on The Clubhouse Pub, call 270-7334.