The Daily Item
NAHANT — After more than a year of contract negotiations, town officials have finally approved a lease for Kelley Greens Golf Club and Restaurant.
Following a lengthy bid process, Nahant’s Golf Course Committee and the Board of Selectmen announced Thursday that Brett Waterman and Rhiannon Evans of R & B Management have been selected as the course’s new lessees. Negotiations for the property were finalized Friday.
Town Administrator Antonio Barletta said he hopes the news will bring about much-needed changes for the property’s restaurant, which closed indefinitely when the COVID-19 pandemic began last March.
“The restaurant was almost shut down and we were changing contracts, so even though the course has continued to operate throughout COVID, the restaurant really hasn’t been running at full strength,” Barletta said. “Hopefully with COVID restrictions lightening up and a contract signed with a new management group, the restaurant and the golf course can be revitalized.”
The golf course has a long history dating back to the first World War, when the U.S. Army took over the spot to use it as a base. The site was demolished twice — once during World War I and again in World War II — before it was remodeled into the version residents are familiar with today.
Waterman, who is the property’s former head groundskeeper, said he and Evans, who previously worked as an executive head chef at a country club in New York, are excited to bring their experience to the golf course.
“The way this specific location is set up, I thought it would be a unique opportunity with both of our skill sets,” Waterman said.
Evans added that the two have already spoken with locals for input as to what changes they’d like to see at the restaurant moving forward.
“We’re going to brighten the place up a little bit,” she said. “Redecorate and try to make it a little more comfortable and a little more welcoming.”
Although the restaurant will likely remain closed through April, Waterman and Evans said they are looking forward to adding their own touch to the property, which has remained a popular Nahant destination for decades.
“It’s definitely a challenging place to maintain. It’s right on the water so we get a lot of wind, and it’s a lot cooler here in the summer, but it’s a local spot,” Waterman said. “Everyone loves it.”