Former U.S. Open Champion McDowell Set to Open Nona Blue Restaurant in Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (May 2016) The former U.S. Open champion will open a second Nona Blue restaurant with his partners in Sawgrass Village this summer.

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There are not too many culinary complaints in Ponte Vedra Beach, but a common refrain is the more variety the better.

Graeme McDowell was of the same opinion and decided to do something about it. The former U.S. Open champion will open a second Nona Blue restaurant with his partners in Sawgrass Village this summer.

Though the 36-year-old PGA Tour veteran was disappointed not to be open in time to capitalize on The Players Championship, he is taking the longer view.

“Having come to the Ponte Vedra Beach area so much, I felt it was lacking a little bit in the culinary front and hence spoke to my business partners, ‘let’s see if we can get into that area,’” McDowell said after his practice round Wednesday.

“What they have done with the Sawgrass Village retail area — where you can park your car on the main street and the vibe they have going there is really cool. We’re super excited about the restaurant. … We’re super excited to serve the community here in Ponte Vedra and, obviously, St. Augustine. We’re disappointed not to be open this week. It’s not about this week for us. This is only a once a year deal. This is about the local community and being the best we can be.”

McDowell’s expectation is for his restaurant to have its certificate of occupancy in the last week of June, or by Independence Day. He said the restaurant, which will be an American bistro, should be open at some point in July.

Darby Bishop said having a major champion open a restaurant in Ponte Vedra Beach will certainly be unique. The 16-year-old is hoping to be a hostess at the Nona Blue when it opens.

“There are not a lot of non-chain restaurants,” Bishop said. “Nona Blue is not a chain. … It’s a sports bar where everyone can come after games, see their friends and eat some food.”

At least that is the vibe of McDowell’s other Nona Blue property in Orlando. Central Florida residents lauded the eatery for its bar food and burgers in the Orlando Sentinel’s annual Foodie Awards back in January.

 

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