The wheels have been put in motion for the Club Car to be operated by a new management team moving forward, with permitting and licensing still to be processed and approved.
Matt Sullivan, the owner of the Nantucket Tap Room at the Jared Coffin House, confirmed to the Current this week that he and his team will be buying the Club Car restaurant business while the real estate will continue to be owned by Nantucket Island Resorts (NIR) Retail.
“We are optimistic. We are looking forward to this and doing our best job to make the Club Car a special place here on the island,” Sullivan said.
A license application has been submitted for approval at the local level during the March 15 Select Board meeting. As long as that process goes as Sullivan expects, it will then go to the state for final approval.
Sullivan said the expectation is that all of the licensing should be taken care of by April or May, just before the summer season begins. He will be purchasing the business from the former management team led by Ty Costa and Tanya McDonough.
“I know Tanya quite well and I think she is looking to spend some more time up with her family,” Sullivan said. “It is just a life change. She is a fantastic restaurant person.”
As for what will be different at the Club Car this summer, Sullivan said the interior will get a makeover. He said the piano, which has been used for live entertainment, will stay.
“We will change the look in terms of us bringing in new furniture, new wall coverings, and there will be a new menu,” Sullivan said. “We will be keeping the piano.”
He added that the initial takeaways he has gotten from discussions with many of the Club Car’s employees are that they will be back.
“We anticipate from discussions I have had that so far, a high number of employees will be coming back. I would say like 80 percent or so,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan does not want the Club Car to mirror the menu at the Tap Room. He said he anticipates it being “a little more New England style” and will try to modernize past menus from the days where Joe Pantorno, the long-time face of the restaurant, was the owner of the Club Car.
“I am probably going to take to old Club Car menus when Joe Pantorno and add modern changes to it,” Sullivan said. “This is definitely something we will continue to work out, which can be challenging. But we are in the process of doing this now.”
“I like it down there on Nantucket a lot, so I think this will be a lot of fun.”