I drive by North Naples Country Club all the time. Considering how many private golf facilities there are in Naples, you would think it was just another golf course. The first few times I drove by, I actually thought it was! Then I found out that it isn’t a golf course at all, it’s a dive bar/restaurant that offers stiff drinks and delicious food. We never went, but last night we finally stopped for dinner.
First off, they don’t have many parking spots. When we pulled up there were cars parked everywhere. But we found a spot. Inside the jukebox was playing, there are TVs behind the bar, and the staff is busy slinging drinks and cleaning tables. Everyone was so nice, too, including Charlie, a local I met at the bar that has been coming to North Naples Country Club since 1980. We talked for a few minutes, and he said, “When I first started coming here, they had dirt floors.” Can you imagine… Just adds to the allure of this place.
When we lived in Phoenix, we went to Larry’s Cocktails a lot. If you looked up “dive bar” in the dictionary, you might find a picture of Larry’s next to it. Larry’s is open from 6:00 am to 2:00 am 7 days a week and is one of the coolest spots in north Phoenix to grab a beer, shoot pool or just hang out. NNCC reminded me a lot of that. Oh, Larry’s AND NNCC are cash only. They both have an ATM, though.
I ordered a PBR to start. Then I found a beer in their cooler that I hadn’t had before. I did not see that coming… To date, I’ve had over 9,100 different beers and was surprised to find a unique beer here. I had another PBR with dinner. For dinner, I ordered wings. They have a bunch of sauces to choose from, and our server talked me into the Honey Saigon and the Gator Nation. The Gator Nation sauce was so good. It would go on anything. Had some heat to it, but a nice sweet finish. When I ordered the wings, I asked if they could do multiple sauces. He responded, “We can do whatever you want. What makes you happy makes us happy.” Come on… Where else are you going to get that kind of service?
When all was said and done the tab was less than $100. Not bad considering there were 4 of us and we had quite a few drinks. We left him a good tip and went home with fond memories of our first visit. NNCC isn’t fancy, so don’t go in expecting white linen table cloths or proper glassware. But that’s why I like it. It is filled with good people, provides an honest affordable experience, and I can’t wait to go back. We have been looking for a local hangout… I think we found it.
I’ll see you at North Naples Country Club! Oh, and it is technically on my way home. So there’s that!