to give new look,
name to former Country Club
Inn to open
in mid-June with upscale fare
MADISON, Ind. (May 2003) The transformation of
turning the formerly private Madison Country Club into a public attraction
took another step in April with the decision by its owners to lease
the clubhouse to local businessman Robin Henderson. Henderson plans
to renovate the clubhouse and open it to the public sometime in June
as Montpelier Inn, an upscale restaurant with banquet and reception
rooms for private parties and special events. Henderson said he also
hopes to cater to the golf crowd coming off the nine-hole course, which
is now also open to the public and operating as River Chase Golf Course.
by Don Ward
Henderson at the
former Madison Country Club
Im excited; Ive waited for an opportunity
like this to come up here in Madison, and this is the best opportunity
I could have imagined, said Henderson, who moved to town a year
ago from Virginia when he and his wife, Margot, bought the Baskin-Robbins
franchise on Main Street.
Henderson, a retired U.S. government communications engineer, had been
a part-owner in a restaurant in Virginia at one time. He has degrees
in engineering and business and is experienced in sales and marketing.
He plans to handle all the business aspects of the Montpelier Inn, a
name Henderson took from President James Madisons home in Orange,
Va. Madison was the nations fourth president and known as the
Father of the Constitution. Henderson is trying to obtain
portraits of James and Dolly Madison to hang in the restaurant. He also
plans to feature local artists work on the walls and historical
photos about Madison and the country club itself.
Henderson envisions a high-end restaurant that will be upscale
but priced to match the local market. He plans to be open daily, serving
lunch, dinner and a special Sunday buffet. He has hired Adi Kienle as
the chef. Kienle once worked as chef at the former Country Club and
later at the Elks Club in Madison. Henderson also has hired a
bar manager and expects to hire wait staff and bartenders soon, plus
The restaurants banquet room seats 120 and overlooks the golf
course. Another dining room seats up to 40. A third smoking room
seats about 30. Henderson plans to feature a piano bar in addition to
the existing bar. He is also considering hiring a roaming violinist
to play on weekends. Upstairs are three smaller rooms that he plans
to renovate and use for private functions and meeting rooms.
In good weather, he can also seat people on the screened patio overlooking
the ninth green, or on the outdoor porch. Henderson hopes to earn back
the business of the 120 former members of the club as well as attract
local residents and tourists.
A group of 30 former members formed an Limited Liability Corp. and bought
the property in February. They have leased the golf course to Mike Guthrie,
who owns Westwood Golf Course in Scottsburg. Guthrie is planning to
offer joint memberships good at both courses, in addition to greens
fee play to the public, according to Tony Waltz, one of five principle
LLC owners. Former club pro Ken Allenders company has been hired
to maintain the course grounds and Allender will continue to offer golf
Negotiations are under way to allow a private swim club to operate the
swimming pool, Waltz said. Jeff Garrett and Ann Grummer are organizing
a membership-only organization to use the pool this summer, once insurance
issues have been resolved.
Were really pleased with our deal with Robin, Waltz
said. We feel he will do a good job and provide a high-quality
restaurant. He appears to be a good businessman, and Adi was popular
as a chef there before.
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