1899 Social Club
1899 Social Club is a premier entertainment venue in Northeast Ohio featuring indoor golf. Located in Shaker Plaza at the Van Aken District, 1899 took over what many of us here in the community may remember as the former Vogue Theater, and a pet store, and even a men's clothing store. The high ceilings and brassy bar chairs enhance this versatile, revitalized space.
There’s so much more to it than meets the eye.
We sat down with Brian Lindenbaum, partner of 1899, and Events and Partnerships coordinator Billy Seguin for the full details on this incredible space. This Shaker Heights location is the third, and largest, in the franchise - but the only one that’s a social club. The other locations are in Canton and Twinsburg, respectively. "This social club has a full-service restaurant, a stage for live music, a trophy room, speakeasy, and is more of an entertainment space," Brian explains.
Prior to launching the franchise, Brian was living in New York with his wife, who is from Canton, Ohio. Their visit to her hometown in 2017 inspired what is now 1899.
"I called my [now] business partner and asked where we would be playing indoor golf for the weekend. He said there weren't any spaces for that option. Nine months later, we opened the first 1899 in Canton."
When asked about the social club aspect, Brian said the Shaker location was a perfect fit, and the City had both a high demand for indoor golf as well as more nightlife. In addition, it’s in close proximity to the City’s country club. The large-scale space of the former Vogue movie theater provides room for both food and entertainment, allowing Brian and partner, John-Michael Speelman, to create their vision.
Brian advises all entrepreneurs to remain true to their vision.
"A lot of people have ideas and want to start something. They weigh all these factors and come up with excuses. It will never be perfect. You'll never know enough. Go for it!"
And when you do go for it, you enjoy those amazing moments of owning a small business, like being your own boss and watching people enjoy the space you've created. Brian also advises that you can never raise too many funds to start a business: "if you think you need 10, raise 20."
Of course, raising capital to start a business is just one of several responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur. "The challenge of owning a small business can sometimes be the responsibility of making sure you're taking care of your staff; you want to succeed for them."
The central focus of 1899 is indoor golf, but Lindenbaum and Speelman created an extension of that focus: inclusivity. Everyone is welcome in this space; you don't have to be a golfer, you don't have to know anything about golf, you don't even need to know what 1899 means, but we'll help you out with that.
1899 is a venue that can accommodate your most important events. From birthdays to corporate gatherings to small-scale weddings - upwards of 200 guests, 1899 grants a space we didn't know we needed, and we're sure ecstatic to welcome it. Try a specialty cocktail like the Bubble Trouble or Oh Snap! Arrive early for Sunday brunch and couple a Ginger Spritzer with the Grilled Croque Monsieur. Stay for lunch or dinner and try the Wild Mushroom Ragout. You won’t be disappointed.
1899 is open 7 days a week. 11 A.M. - 10 P.M. on Monday through Thursday; 11 A.M.-12 A.M. Fridays; 10 A.M.-12 A.M. Saturdays, and 10 A.M. - 7 P.M. on Sundays. Visit 1899golf.com for more information, including how to book for events.
So, what does 1899 mean in the golf world? It's the year the first public golf course, Ottawa Park, was established in Toledo, Ohio. It's also the year two Ohioans received the patent for the first rubber golf ball. As it turns out, Lindenbaum and Speelman's decision to open up an indoor golf entertainment venues in the State of Ohio was pretty much par for the course.