First Look: 1899 Golf and Social Club, Opening Soon in Shaker Heights

The multifaceted complex combines indoor golf, dining and live entertainment

click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.

After experiencing high-quality indoor golf facilities in Manhattan, Brian Lindenbaum was surprised to find a lack of such options in Ohio, where he often visits his wife’s family. So he and his partner John-Michael Speelman decided to open one. The first 1899 Indoor Golf property opened in Canton in 2018. A year later, the pair opened a larger facility in Twinsburg. But the partners saved their largest, most ambition project for Shaker Heights.

For the past year, Lindenbaum and Speelman have been converting the former Jos. A. Bank and Pearl Asian Kitchen spaces at Van Aken Plaza (20040 Van Aken Blvd.) into a 17,000-square-foot entertainment complex. The stars of the show are the nine golf simulator bays, but the Shaker Heights location offer much more than indoor golf.

“We’ve transitioned the brand to 1899 Golf and Social Club because this is more of a 360-degree entertainment model,” Lindenbaum explains. “We feel you need other things to attract people when it’s 80 degrees outside. When it’s nice outside, you want to be outside. We get that.”

From 1948 to 1985, this address was home to the Vogue Theater. The voluminous space has soaring ceilings, wraparound mezzanines and plenty of room to socialize. In addition to the premium indoor golf experience, 1899 will have a full-service “casual fine-dining” restaurant, two cocktail bars and a stage for live entertainment.

The golf sims are powered by TrackMan, “the most trusted, best technology in the ball-tracking game,” says Lindenbaum. Users have access to nearly 250 of the world’s best courses.

Avid golfers looking for a mid-winter fix are obvious consumers, he adds, but the quick pace of the electronic game is appealing year-round to golfers who don’t have six hours to commit to the real thing. Toss in things like the driving range, skills work, swing lessons or just plain fun and the uses add up.

“We get more serious golfers who would come here to play 18 holes at Pebble Beach with their buddies like they would in August, but we also have games that capture the Top Golf crowd,” Lindenbaum says.

The 72-seat full-service restaurant has a “country club-modern design” and will be overseen by chef Robert Watson, recently of Steak 48 in Philadelphia. The attractive eatery will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

In the center of the main room is a large rectangular bar serving craft cocktails, craft drafts and wine. A comfy patch of green turf offers a casual place to sip a drink on patio furniture while enjoying live music. Ease open a special panel on the wooden bookcase and you land inside the Trophy Room, a posh speakeasy with a wall of private spirits lockers for guests.

“The most important thing to us is that the service and experience match up with the ambiance and décor,” says Lindenbaum. “We want you to have an unbelievable experience in a really cool atmosphere with service that’s off the charts.”

Look for 1899 to switch on its golf sims next week, its cocktail program immediately after and the restaurant in late March or early April.

click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge 1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
1899 Golf and Social Club opening soon in Shaker Hts.
click to enlarge First Look: 1899 Golf and Social Club, Opening Soon in Shaker Heights
Douglas Trattner


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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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