Written by Jaime L. Tomeo Thursday, 18 June 2009 11:05
While the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black is just around the corner, preparations for Carlyle on the Green by owner Steven Carl and his staff have long since been under way.
The Carlyle on the Green overlooks 1,500 acres of lush parkland at Bethpage State Park. It houses the golf course’s pro shop, restaurant, ballroom, courtyard, cocktail rooms, bars and suites. The Grand Conservatory Ballroom can accommodate up to 600 for a formal wedding or party. According to the Carlyle’s website, “it boasts award-winning cuisine, white glove service and a picturesque landscape.” The award-winning Oak Room Restaurant was added in preparation for the 2002 U.S. Open. It is adorned with dark wood paneling, exposed wooden beams and muted earth tones to “create a feeling of intimacy,” the website states. The Oak Room is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Carlyle on the Green hosts over 400 events each year and is open seven days a week. It is also the exclusive caterer of all golf outings and company picnics at Bethpage State Park.
After winning the 1997 bid put out by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to rebuild the clubhouse, Carl invested over $8 million to restore and update the facility. His objective was to create the ambience of a private mansion.
“This facility itself, even though it’s not a country club, has been called the ‘People’s Country Club’; where everybody can go and it feels like those who pass through the doors are members in its own way,” Carl said. “The U.S. Open is known as the ‘People’s Open,’ and in 2002, when people came here, it wasn’t like a private club where people were never given an opportunity to come here again. Here, they’ve come, they’ve golfed, they saw what happened in 2002, they’ve come back in the many years since then and they’re back for 2009.”
According to Carl, several more millions have been invested since the 2002 U.S. Open, including $1 million in renovations this year.
“We added a new patio, gazebo for weddings and new outdoor areas,” Carl said. “We also redid all the existing interior spaces since the 2002 U.S. Open.”
New moldings, draperies, paint and gardens have also enhanced the facility.
This is Carl’s second opportunity to host the golf players, celebrities, United States Golf Association officials and NYS representatives. His catering facility will provide food and service for these individuals as well as corporate sponsors.
Carl said he has been working with the USGA to have the catering best reflect New York and Long Island flavors. Local food items will include Black & White cookies, Bagel Boss bagels and Nathan’s Hot Dogs.
“We’re also trying to use everything that is grown or gotten from Long Island,” said Carl, a lifelong Long Island resident himself. “If there are certain items, such as produce, we’re going to try and utilize that. Because it’s a Long Island event, we’re supporting Long Island. When people come, they want to see items they haven’t seen before.”
While the Carlyle normally employs 300 full- and part-time employees, Carl said they “have increased that substantially” for the U.S. Open. He said even though he expects to service more people this year than in 2002, his experienced staff that has already been through the previous Open, should make it easier.
“When you go through it and you do it once and you know what to expect, the second time around makes it a lot easier,” he added.
Carlyle on the Green is located at Bethpage State Park, 99 Quaker Meeting House Road in Farmingdale. For more information visit www.carlyleonthegreen.net or call 501-9700.