The new facility at the 55-year-old municipal course in Phoenix, Ariz. features Lou’s Bar & Grill, an “open and inviting” restaurant named for the late Lou Grubb, a successful auto dealer and philanthropist in the community. The restaurant also features a new event hall, Evie’s Pavilion, named for Lou Grubb’s wife Evelyn.
The new Douglas Fredrickson-designed clubhouse at the Papago Golf Course in Phoenix, Ariz. is now complete. The project was funded by a large donation from the Lou and Evelyn Grubb Foundation—part of the Arizona Community Foundation— assisted by their son, Dan Grubb, on behalf of the Grubb family.
In recognition of that support, the restaurant in Papago GC’s new clubhouse is named Lou’s Bar & Grill, in honor of the late Lou Grubb, who enjoyed a successful career in the automotive industry in the Phoenix area and became a leading philanthropist for the community before his death in 2012.
“The new clubhouse and restaurant at Papago is a great way to continue and commemorate my father’s passion for the game of golf and giving back to the community,” said Dan Grubb. “Beyond the honor of naming the restaurant after him, my father would appreciate that it’s designed to be an inclusive place for everyone to enjoy, in addition to golfers. Thank you to the team who put everything together to make this happen.”
The unique public/private partnership between the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University (ASU) and the Arizona Golf Community Foundation that became the driving force behind Papago GC’s revitalization reflects the diverse community the new clubhouse is intended to serve.
Led by the Arizona Golf Community Foundation, the partnership worked together to conceptualize, secure funding and carry out the project. The participants’ joint efforts created an amenity at Papago that will act as a social/recreational anchor for neighboring communities and businesses, while also helping restore the standing of the public facility, which opened its William Francis (Billy) Bell-designed golf course in 1963, within the Phoenix-area golf scene and bolstering its long-term financial viability.
“Not only is the charitable golf tournament [started by Lou Grubb and his wife Evelyn] still going strong after nearly 50 years, the new clubhouse at Papago is an incredibly generous gift that will serve golfers, families and friends for generations to come,” said Mike Conner, Senior Vice President of Operations for OB Sports, the management firm for Papago GC.
(The Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golfcharitable golf tournament, benefitting the Barrow Neurological Instituteand St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, was founded in 1973 and has raised millions of dollars in its history.)
Outside the front door of Lou’s Bar & Grill, patrons are greeted by a statue of the late Heather Farr, the accomplished professional golfer from Phoenix, as a celebration of her passion for the game and Papago Golf Course. Next to the statue stands a “history wall” commemorating the timeline of accomplishments of Arizona State University golf teams (Papago is the new home course for ASU), and inside, display cases exhibiting other memorabilia, trophies and honors adorn the lobby.
The dining room at Lou’s Bar & Grill features a “cool-clean, stone-and-steel feel” in a wide-open space that is made even more airy when the massive, garage-style and wall-sized sliding doors are opened to bring in cooling breezes.
“Lou’s has a wide appeal, ranging from golfers to families to professionals meeting for happy hour,” said Daryl Crawford, Papago GC’s General Manager “The atmosphere is open and inviting, with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, fire pits, kids playing on the grass and great views of the golf course, the Papago buttes and downtown Phoenix.”
The layout of the restaurant embraces the Arizona lifestyle with a sprawling patio that wraps around the dining room and opens to a rich green lawn and the golf course, with the city below. The rectangular bar features outdoor seating on two sides when the windows are drawn up, while the other two sides offer golf course views.
The dining room and patio also offer ample space for small- to medium-sized groups, while the adjacent enclosed event hall, Evie’s Pavilion, named for Evelyn Grubb, will handle larger groups and charitable fundraising events.