Monday, December 3, 2012

Graeme McDowell's Upcoming Nona Blue Tavern


Graeme McDowell is known to enjoy a pint or two after a successful tournament performance. The popular, amiable Irishman will open an upscale pub/restaurant in Orlando in March, which will have a great selection of beers and a lot more. Click here for sneak preview via The Golf Travel Guru T.V.

I’ve done some intrepid research and here’s the scoop: 

Partnering with Bistro Concepts LLC, the 5,618 square-foot Nona Blue Tavern, slated for a grand opening on Friday March 15th, is located at the Lake Nona Village shopping complex at the corner of Narcoossee Road and Boggy Creek Road near the gates of Lake Nona, a luxury master-planned community near Orlando International Airport, where McDowell resides.

The display kitchen is complemented with exposed brickwork and rich, dark mahogany, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The indoor dining area offers a number of options, including a 40-seat bar, two captain’s tables, wrap-around booth seating throughout and a seating area with drawn curtains for private events. An outdoor patio features a fireplace, intimate bar and al fresco dining.

Light fare on Nona Blue’s menu will include deviled eggs with apple wood smoked bacon, lightly fried oysters and blue cheese kettle chips. Among the “Handwiches” Nona Blue will offer is a decadent twist on the BLT. Order the BLT Grilled Cheese and dive into a pile of lobster salad, apple wood smoked bacon, diced tomato and havarti cheese, served on generous slices of Texas Toast.

Steaks and fresh fish off the hardwood grill are joined by a cider-brined, double cut pork rib chop served with mashed potato and braised apple chutney. The Nona Blue Bar Chefs will be mixing up the freshest seasonal cocktails, along with pouring off plenty of the 49 different wines and 16 craft beers on tap.

McDowell inadvertently gave the concept its name after a victory at the 2012 Tavistock Cup, staged at Lake Nona. Clad in Team Nona’s iconic blue and celebrating another victory in the annual team competition for touring professionals, McDowell shouted, “Nona Blue!” to a gathering of supporters, which included his business partner, Bill Bona.

Other big name golfers who own homes in Lake Nona and reside there full or part-time, include Annika Sorenstam, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Yani Tseng. 

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club has an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio and a 40,000 square-foot clubhouse.

Bistro Concepts are the managing partner of the Celebration Town Tavern, a successful restaurant in Celebration, the Disney conceived urban village near Kissimmee.

McDowell talked about the new bar/restaurant recently in a post tournament interview:

“Yeah. The bar's called Nona Blue. It's a tavern restaurant. It's just outside the gates of Lake Nona. Free bars are with PGA TOUR media credentials only.

Traditionally when I win an event I call home to my home golf club. Lake Nona has kind of become my second home golf club, and I typically have a free bar for the members for a defined period of time, obviously.

I always call Rathmore (in Northern Ireland), my home golf course. It's a bit late there now. What is it, 11:35. I was going to say it's not too early for those boys, believe me. Hopefully my dad will make a phone call and we'll shed the boys a few drinks and shed the boys a few drinks at Lake Nona. But I think traditionally it may be drinks on the house at Nona Blue when I win a tournament.

So thankfully it's not open yet. So I'll save a few dollars this time around. I'll be working on it obviously my next ten weeks. We're hoping for mid to late January. So I'll be putting my January dad on hold for the opening. But looking forward to it.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hoist a few at Nona Blue, rub shoulders with a few of his Lake Nona celebrity neighbors and maybe even have a Rory and Carol sighting.


  1. Yeah this is already on my radar for its open. You heading to the PGA Show? I wonder if it will be open by then...

  2. I'm trying to get confirmation on opening date for Nona Blue. Will let everybody know. Yes, I'll be at the PGA Show. Hope to catch up with old friends and new ones.

  3. Thanks for the compliment, Ross. More great posts to come in 2013.

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  5. Shaun, Thanks for your kind comments. There's lots of great stuff happening on The Golf Travel Guru's website, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin in 2013.