"Mulligan's Is Quickly Becoming One Of The Favorite Local Dining Spots. Located Just Off Of Bruce B Downs Inside The Pebble Creek Clubhouse, Mulligans Is The Perfect Place To Relax And Unwind With Friends"
article courtesy of Gary Nager, Neighborhood News
I have visited the restaurant at the Pebble Creek Golf Club (PCGC) since the days when my family lived in a condo in the community surrounding Saddlebrook Resort -- way back in 1993 — and to be honest, it’s never really been very good.
But, since the golf course itself was always forgiving for a player of my more-than-limited abilities, I really had no choice but to continue to try the restaurant again every time I visited for a round of golf, always with similar results. Ho-hum.
Today, however, thanks to new (about a year now) owner, Bill Place of Ace Golf... not only has the PCGC course itself been entirely revamped, the club’s former snack-bar-that claimed-to-be-a-restaurant is now an attractive Irish pub/restaurant with very good food.
Mulligan’s Irish Pub is much more than the same old place with a new coat of paint. PCGC food and beverage director recently rolled out a menu of which he is rightfully very proud.
Although I had to go to press with this issue before I got to sample the full menu, everything I have tried from Mulligan’s “Renovation Menu” and daily specials board has been very tasty and obviously freshly made using only quality ingredients.
Mulligan's Mouth-Watering Super-Crispy Boneless Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings
For example, the super-crispy boneless Buffalo-style chicken wings are served with a zesty. homemade sauce and are tender and meaty inside. You can also definitely taste the fact that the plump, 8-oz. grilled chicken sandwich is actually grilled on a charcoal grill. It is offered with your choice of melted Swiss, American, jack or Irish cheddar cheeses, although I ordered mine “dry” (meaning with no cheese) and it was anything but dry. It’s literally one of the best grilled chicken sandwiches I’ve had in Tampa.
My boys and I also sampled the char-grilled halfpound burger, which was cooked to perfection and topped with our choice of cheese. Both the chicken sandwich and the burger were served with a choice of real onion rings or crispy fries, plus homemade (and very tasty) Kinsale slaw, lettuce and slices of garden tomatoes and pickles. We also enjoyed a crisp garden salad topped with the same delicious grilled chicken and a choice of dressings.
Although I didn’t get to actually sample it, another Mulligan’s patron confirmed what I had suspected — that the barbecued half-chicken, one of the best chicken sandwiches you’ll find anywhere -- one of the daily specials from the specials board, was as tasty as it looked. It was served with real barbecue baked beans and slaw.
The fact that the food from the simple Renovation Menu was delicious has to bode well for the “Neighborhood Irish Pub” menu of which Allbright and Place are so proud.
The signature appetizer on the full menu is the Ploughman’s Platter, designed to be enjoyed by at least two friends and pints of Guiness stout. It includes an assortment of cheeses, plus pickles, salami, fruits and veggies and served with crusty bread and butter.
Other appetizers include Irish Nachos (homemade Irish-style potato chips, layered with bacon, tomatoes, jalapenos, black olives, cheddar and sour cream and chives); “bits o’fish,” which are beer-battered whitrefish bites fried to a golden brown and served with a tartar sauce; pot sticker dumplings, bone-in chicken wings called “jumbo flappers” and spicy beef or chicken quesadillas.
You also need to try the signature Irish potato and leek soup. Mulligan’s soon-to-be-famous “Pub Grub” includes Guiness meatloafg (aka “Irish paté), fish & chips, bangers & mash (imported Irish sausages with beef gravy over garlic mashed potatoes), seared Irish salmon and Irish pork pot roast.
There’s also a great selection of sandwiches, a “For the Wee Ones” kids menu and even Sunday Breakfast Sandwiches.
Adding to the more elegant new feel of the place are two pool tables, a wraparound bar, flat-screen TVs, a spacious patio dining area for smokers and those who prefer to be outside in PCGC’s scenic surroundings. In other words, forget everything you’ve experienced before at the PCGC restaurant.
Thanks to Place, Allbright and a happy, attentive new staff, Mulligan’s Irish Pub (which is open to the public) should quickly become one of the favorite local dining spots and watering holes in New Tampa.
Mulligan’s Irish Pub is located at 10550 Regents Park Dr., off BBD Blvd. (across from the Super Wal-Mart). Call 973-3872.
Longtime golfers praise the new owner's improvements to the course and the facilities. When Ace Golf Club owner Bill Place bought the Pebble Creek Golf Club in 2005, he didn't realize the disrepair to the club and the course. Hurricane damage from 2004 created landscaping problems throughout the course. The 40-year-old club's restaurant and banquet areas were showing their age with rotting wood and dingy interiors.
Place invested more than $1.5-million, and longtime patrons of the course and club have noticed the difference. New Bermuda grass upgraded the greens, along with new tees on each hole. The sand traps are being completely rebuilt, with the front nine finished and the back nine expected to be completed by the end of the year.
New cart paths have been added, with GPS systems on the carts. Drainage and irrigation is also being upgraded. As a result, Place says the course has had its best first quarter in club history. Increased spending has "helped drive our rounds up," Place said. "We've gone from 29,000 and will exceed 40,000 rounds this year."
The club is thriving as Place contends with lingering fallout from his efforts to build a miniature golf course in the community. Place contends the opponents were fewer in number and that those filing complaints about him now about signs and banners are even fewer.
Overall, he is pleased with the success he has made of the country club, and so are area golfers such as Ed Gonzales of West Meadows. "The greens are in much better shape and even the course has changed a lot," said Gonzales, 41. "It has a lot of doglegs and it's been extended and makes it more enjoyable to play."
Place rebuilt the pro shop and banquet area, which now accommodates about 125 people. A 1,200-square-foot veranda also was built off the old restaurant, which was renovated and renamed Mulligans to reflect an Irish golf theme with hardwood floors and a wrap-around bar. The new menu includes popular Irish favorites such as fish and chips and shepherd's pie.
Business has quadrupled, with nongolf traffic from its location just off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. Membership is up to about 100; not the 300 it was seven or eight years ago, but an improvement from recent years.
"We play throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties, and we've come back here three or four times in the last six weeks," said George Klebingot, 66, who travels here from Odessa to golf. "The course is in better shape than a lot of the private clubs, and Mulligans is tremendously different from what they had before."
"People have commented about the course, saying it's never looked better, and the improvements to the rest of the facility: the banquet area, restaurant, pro shop and the locker rooms," Place said.