Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Beef 'O' Brady's owner gambles on Brooker Creek Golf Club location

In 2003, golfer John Downey hit a ball 511 yards, a long drive record he said stood for more than two years.

The Safety Harbor resident hopes for a similar smash with the Beef 'O' Brady's he opened this week at Brooker Creek Golf Club on Tarpon Woods Boulevard.

Downey and Beef 'O' Brady's believe the opening marks the first time a major chain restaurant has opened on a golf course.

"Things are tough right now for restaurants," Downey said, "so we tried to think outside the box."

Downey, 32, left Florida State University to pursue a career in professional golf. He came to specialize in the long drive, a distance competition, and became one of the game's top competitors.

He owns another Beef 'O' Brady's in North Port, which he opened in 2006. When the opportunity came, Downey and his wife, Donielle, decided it would be a good move to open another closer to home.

The final result after a month of renovating part of an existing structure on the course: 4,700 square feet of space, a full menu and bar plus 23 high-definition, flat screen televisions.

The Beef 'O' Brady's company, Downey said, is committed to charity work and sponsoring local youth and adult athletic teams. He's hoping to become a part of North Pinellas' community fabric.

Already, he's hired almost 40 workers.

The restaurant starts serving lunch at 11 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Starting Nov. 1, and through the golf season, the restaurant plans to open for breakfast at 7 a.m. and stay open as late as midnight.

Tuesday, snowbird Vinny Truscelli, who has played the course for more than 20 years, took in the interior of the new Beef 'O' Brady's and was impressed.

"The decor and the ambience are nice," he said.

Truscelli, 75, said he planned to get a hamburger for lunch.

Greg McClimans, who owns the course with his wife, Rebecca, changed the name to Brooker Creek Golf Club from Tarpon Woods Golf & Country Club a month ago.

He said he's done considerable work to improve the course, which is open to the public. Bringing a Beef 'O' Brady's, he said, is part of that effort.

"We wanted a name brand to come in," McClimans said. "It was the fit that we were looking for."

Will Van Sant can be reached at or (727) 445-4166.

Beef 'O' Brady's owner gambles on Brooker Creek Golf Club location 10/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings