‘Arnie’s’ opens at Royal Golf Club

The Royal Golf Club restaurant, Arnie’s, includes a new patio deck addition. (Gazette staff photo by Alicia Lebens)

While golfers eager to play the new Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo will need to wait until spring, locals and out-of-towners alike have been flocking to the refurbished clubhouse for the new bar and restaurant.

Arnie’s, named after golf legend and course designer Arnold Palmer, opened last month inside the remodeled 26,000-square-foot clubhouse. The restaurant seats up to 92 people inside and has bar seating for an additional 10. However, most visitors to Arnie’s are soaking in the last of the summer’s warmth on the patio deck addition.

Arnie’s is open for lunch at 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Sundays with items ranging in price from $12 to $16 and a selection including salads, sandwiches, burgers and some items off of the dinner menu. Entrees on the dinner menu range in price from $15 to $28 and include walleye, fried chicken, burgers, pork chops and Angus beef steaks.

The menu includes comfortable classics, like spaghetti and meatballs, as well as some adventurous dishes like Korean-style bulgogi noodles with homemade kimchi. Royal Golf Club’s director of food and beverage Tony Stoffel said that visitors have received the menu favorably.

“The bulgogi bowl, which is a Korean influence, they are selling really good and are really tasty,” Stoffel said. “The steaks are really good, I would put them up against any steak house.”

While Stoffel hasn’t found anything on the menu he doesn’t like, he said the menu features something for everyone’s taste.

“We have walleye either fired or broiled, which has been really popular,” Stoffel said. “Our spaghetti and meatball have been popular, but we have received a lot of praise for the meatball sandwich.”

The menu also includes the restaurant namesake’s classic drink.

“Of course we have an Arnold Palmer on the menu,” Stoffel said. “We make that with fresh lemonade and iced tea.”

As ground has not been broken on any homes in the Royal Golf Club residential development, most of the visitors are locals and a few people from across the Metro area who have made the drive out to see the new restaurant, Stoffel said.

“We have nothing but positive responses,” Stoffel said. “We have had a few little hiccups along the way, but we have only been open for four weeks. We think we have everything sorted out. Nothing but positive feedback, we have guests that come back every other day.”

Stoffel said he hopes visitors come to relax, hang out and enjoy the views from the patio overlooking Horseshoe Lake and the first and 10th holes of the course.

“Our bar is open however long people want to stay and hang out,” he said. “Officially we close at 11:30 p.m. with last call.”

The restaurant also includes space for meetings for small groups and large gatherings, as well as space to host weddings with up to 270 guests.

Residential development

As the doors open on the clubhouse restaurant, the Royal Golf Club residential development nears its groundbreaking. The Lake Elmo City Council approved the residential final plat during its most recent meeting.

“From a real estate perspective, I don’t think there has been development with this kind of content,” said sales director and Realtor Jim Boo.

Boo said the real estate team has not begun to actively market the development yet, but has already seen interest from home-buyers in the area, as well as from employees of 3M, who have memories of the site’s former life as Tartan Park.

“We just got our final plat approval, the clubhouse just opened and we haven’t opened the course yet,” Boo said. “So we really haven’t started marketing the real estate yet.”

A significant number of sites in the development’s first phase — a cluster of single family homes and villas in the easternmost section of the development — have already been reserved by future residents. About 50 percent of the association-maintained villas have already been claimed, Boo said, citing the popularity of the single-level homes. With 291 single-family and villa homes in the project, Boo said he expects the first phase to have between 70 and 100 homes depending on market demand.

Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]