You get the feeling there's more financial gain in food and beverage than lawn bowls. On any given day, the greens of Cronulla RSL Bowling Club hosted a smattering of lawn bowls enthusiasts. On the opening night of the new bar and restaurant of Friday 29th November, 1500 guests packed the deck and I imagine spent a truckload of folding stuff in the process.
Cronulla RSL Bowling Club previously housed two greens to keep its bowlers occupied. When the powers that be decided to uproot one and replace it with a bar and bistro, I doubt they could have envisioned the popularity of its hectic opening few days.
New membership to the club during the week leading up to the opening of its new facility spiralled to around 1500, matching the first night attendance.
You don't need to be a brain surgeon to decipher such a turnout. Cronulla has been screaming for a beachside watering hole. The closest thing has been the perennial Northies but even that institution is a block back from the shores, has more the ambience of a cave dwelling and comes with a notorious reputation. Step up to the plate Cronulla RSL Bowling Club.
The renovations have been completed with full emphasis on maximising its stellar location. All floor to ceiling windows and balconies face straight out over the deep blue Pacific and the sweep of beach north. Drink prices are competitively priced, a touch of live music ramps up the vibe and while I haven't yet sampled the cuisine, all feedback is positive.
The demographic covered the gamut of age groups although I get the feeling the baby boomers and beyond may be slowly squeezed out by the younger gens come evening as those x and y folk search for their new social hangout of choice.
Northies, Surfies and the other party centrals of Cronulla must be looking over their collective shoulders at the new/old kid on the social block. None can compete with this location and if the early numbers are a testimony, Cronulla RSL Bowling Club are on to a winner.
Dress codes are relaxed up to 7.30 pm meaning you can step off the beach in your shorts, thongs and t-shirt. Local residents need to be a member or be signed in by a member but any ID indicating you are from out of town will allow entrance as a guest. Lunch and a drink here after your beach session will set you back less than a restaurant equivalent and you won't need to iron the suit to grab a spot.
My criticism is the line-ups at the bar. Only a few sets of taps meant some elongated waits for your beverage of choice, an issue the management may need to address.
Otherwise, the club's new deck is a handy new addition to the south's beachside social scene.
Went on a Wednesday for 1pm lunch. Parking was not to be found. The place looks great even when full. I really hope the menu gets a full overhaul. It's been the same for the last 2 years or more. But good on the rsl for the investment. Hope to make a day at the beach then go up for a beer or two afterwards. Bring on summer!