EAST ORANGE, NJ - More than 250 guests recently joined Mayor Lester E. Taylor III and the East Orange City Council in celebrating the grand opening of the newly-completed Clubhouse and Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge located at the East Orange Golf Course, 440 Parsonage Hill Road in Short Hills, NJ.
The 6,000 square-foot facility, which was built from the ground up following the full renovation of the municipally-owned East Orange Golf Course, features a new Pro Shop and Par 440, an upscale sports bar operated by Mario LaVecchia of Above Restaurant in South Orange.
Both facilities are open to the public.
"The completion of this project is one of the most fulfilling of my administration," said Mayor Taylor. "We took a gamble when we decided to close the course in 2014, but our gamble has paid off. The transformation of this golf course required the hard work and commitment of a solid team of experts who believed in our vision to set the standard for urban excellence and rebuild this asset into what it was intended to be -- a quality and accessible course for public play."
The official ribbon cutting and grand opening, which was held on Friday, July 7th, was well attended by hundreds of people that included elected officials, long-time golfers, municipal employees, East Orange and neighboring residents, and visitors who were wowed by the extreme makeover.
Among the guests were former East Orange Mayor Thomas Cooke, Jr.; Assemblyman Thomas Giblin; East Orange City Councilmembers Ted Green (Chair), Amy Lewis (1st), Casim Gomez (4th) and Mustafa Brent (5th); former Councilmembers Lonnie Hughes (5th) and William Holt (4th); Louis LaSalle, Senior VP of External Affairs at Barnabas Health; Orange Municipal Court Chief Judge Michael Hackett; Essex County Surrogate Judge Theodore Stephens, II, and Goldie Burbage, President of the Historical Society of East Orange, Inc.
Not your typical golf clubhouse or restaurant, this new facility features a combination of retro and modern aesthetics, including flat screen TVs, an illuminated wall-length bar, disco balls, plush seating, a wrap-around deck, and an outdoor patio area featuring a vintage bar restored from the original clubhouse.
The clubhouse also showcases the artwork of Avi Brender, a local Millburn resident and member of the East Orange Property Owners Association who donated his art to the City of East Orange to adorn the walls of the clubhouse. Proceeds from the sale of the art will benefit the East Orange Safe Haven Police Athletic League to support youth golfing and the Danielle Brender Fund to raise awareness about a genetic disorder that suddenly claimed the life of his 11-year-old daughter in 2000.
The New and Improved East Orange Golf Course
Designed by Tom Bendelow in 1926 and renovated by renowned golf architect Stephen Kay in 2015, the course has been redesigned to maintain the old-fashioned charm of the golf course while making it appealing to players of all abilities. As part of the renovations, the new course features two newly-constructed golf holes, a driving range, and putting green. Since reopening, rounds have increased from 8,000 to over 25,000.
The project team included Christopher Coke, Director of Public Works, Valerie Jackson, Director of Policy, Planning and Development, Golf Architect Stephen Kay, Golf Superintendent Juan Casiano, Dominick Marziani and Associates Architects, Maser Consulting, Turco Golf Construction and Precision Building and Construction.
For more information or to schedule an outing or group event, please call (973) 379-7190.