Mitchell's Club ready to reopen: After renovation, club has new menu for diners, new role
December 20, 2012
By Franklin Fisher
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea -- Mitchell's Club, closed since August for renovation, is set to reopen Christmas Day with a new name, new look and new menu.
"It's a whole makeover -- we renovated the club, we cleaned up the outside, we've got a new menu, we've got a new manager, we've got new uniforms for the staff," said Mike Vail, acting chief of business operations with U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The club, bldg. 340, has been renamed "Mitchell's Community Club and Conference Center." Its old sign, which workers took down earlier this week, read: "Mitchell's Sports Grill," though it's widely known in Area I as "Mitchell's Club" or simply "Mitchell's."
The new name reflects changes made during the renovation that allow for as many as three conferences or other functions to be held at one time, while still being able to serve diners, Vail said.
"And that's a huge thing," Vail said.
Workers put in adjustable dividing walls that will enable the club to close off spaces for use as conference rooms.
And they've installed four large projection screens that can be used to display slide presentations, videos and other materials typically used for training, conferences and other business.
Built in 1999, the club is named in honor of Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., the Korean War Medal of Honor recipient killed in action in 1950 and for whom Camp Red Cloud is also named.
As part of the renovation, a picture of Red Cloud has been mounted above the front entrance.
The dining room now has something it never had before: a permanent stage on which bands and other entertainers will be able to perform.
Patrons will no longer be allowed to smoke in the bar, although smoking's still allowed in the club's game room.
"So for a majority of our patrons, which are non-smokers," said Vail, "it gives them the ability to go and dine and recreate in the bar" without being exposed to cigarette smoke.
Outside the building, workers have put in a brick walkway, changed some areas from grass to decorative rock, and installed outdoor lighting systems including white lights that will "help accent the front of the building," Vail said.
One major focus in the newly renovated Mitchell's will be on its new menu.
"Most of our new menu items were taken directly from customer comments, not just here at Red Cloud but also at Casey and Stanley, things that troops keep telling our managers 'This is what we want,'" said Vail.
And there'll be a new emphasis on using the cooking methods and ingredients that will make food fresher and more flavorful.
For example, many foods that had formerly been cooked on the grill will now be prepared in a Chinese-style wok, said Mitchell's new business manager, Song O'Connor.
"For many of the menu items," Vail said, "we're trying to get back to basics -- using real products to make our food -- real fresh, wholesome products."
And in another key change, the club will now serve fresh lobster, sold based on market price and kept in a live lobster tank in the club, Vail said.
"I think that's going to be a great thing for the community," he said.
Mitchell's will mark its reopening Dec. 25, with a Christmas Day brunch from 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m., featuring a visit from Santa, a live magic show and other entertainment, O'Connor said.
Its regular business hours will be Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. -- 10:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. -- 2:30 a.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. -- 10:30 p.m.