Right place, right time.
For Linda Christiansen and Patty Flood, Riverside Golf Course’s former owners made an offer that could not be refused.
The local ladies, who were servers at the Riverside Inn, had a restaurant in mind. But things were not lining up.
Flood had given the course a poke with no response from Michael and Marie Halliday.
“My husband and I had been looking at it this last fall,” Flood said. “We made an offer and the Hallidays turned it down. About three-and-a-half weeks ago they called back and asked if we were still interested. It was definitely not something we wanted to go at alone.”
“When Mr. Halliday called her and made an offer, she ran it past me,” Christiansen said. “For some reason at that point in time it just clicked.”
Waterford resident Christiansen, and Cambridge Springs area native Flood are now in the process of taking over. They signed letters of agreement less than two weeks ago.
April will be their first month with complete ownership of the 6,334-yard, par-71 course, pro shop, restaurant and banquet facility.
A far cry from their expectations.
“It was the right opportunity at the right time,” Christiansen said. “It really was absolutely the farthest thing from my mind. She and I looked at a building in Erie last fall and it just was not right. She always had the golf course in the back of her mind.”
“We had been toying around with the idea of maybe trying to open a restaurant ... It’s a whole lot more than we had planned on, but it is a beautiful place,” Flood said.
The golf manager and greens superintendent remain in place, and Christiansen’s daughter, Chelsea, has migrated home from the west coast to take over the duties as head chef. She was formerly emplyed at Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.
For the near future, things are underway in getting the facilities up and running. There are some project ideas in the works but the goal for this coming season is pretty straightforward.
“Right now we are just trying to get anything in order and get everything in place,” Flood said. “We are working on putting together a nice, high-end casual menu and getting the kitchen going. We have ideas, we just want to see how they progress.
“Obviously we want to get the course looking better and better every year. First and foremost this is a golf course with an absolute beautiful dining facility not many people know about. We want people to know about it.”
They are hoping to have the facilities completely open the weekend of April 3, weather permitting.
T.J. Turrisi can be reached at 724-6370, ext. 276 or by e-mail at email@example.com.