Patrons pack Bogey Grille on its final day

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In its final hours, Bogey Grille was doing a booming business. Even under the state-mandated 50% capacity rule, the place was hopping — so much so that owner Derek Prince compared the volume of activity to what he’s normally seen during THE PLAYERS.

The sports bar and restaurant, a popular gathering spot for local residents for more than 16 years, succumbed to the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. It closed Friday, July 3, after struggling to remain profitable despite a temporary statewide shutdown of restaurant dining rooms in the spring and the cancellation of this year’s PLAYERS’ Championship. The event had always generated a lot of trade for Bogey Grille and played a pivotal role in its profitability, and its cancellation had a devastating impact.

Friday, Prince and his staff were scrambling to keep up with orders as customers seized a final opportunity to enjoy a Bogey Burger or sip one of the establishment’s specialty cocktails.

Pausing for a moment between orders, Prince reflected on his years of success since purchasing the former Glory Days Sports Grille as a real estate investment in 2003.

“It’s been great,” he said. “It has been really awesome.”

But, he said, it was time he moved on to a new venture.

After Prince announced June 30 his intention to close, the business’s Facebook page lit up with comments from saddened patrons. For many, Bogey Grille has been the go-to place for something to eat after sporting events, dances, celebrations and more. The restaurant’s walls were decorated with school banners, pennants and photos contributed by families and sports teams.

People frequently referred to Bogey Grille as “Cheers,” after the television show about a bar where “everybody knows your name.”

“You and the Bogey’s Family are such a huge part of the fabric of the community,” wrote Holly Montroy on Facebook.

“I will never forget after one of the hurricanes when all the power was out everywhere, Bogey Grille stayed open and many people who had not evacuated came and pitched in and served food and ate at least one good meal!” wrote Laura Schnorr Warwin.

Indeed, the restaurant has been a focal point for local residents. It has been a participant in charitable events and a supporter of youth sports.

“I love being a part of the community,” said Prince. “Ponte Vedra’s been great.”

The final chapter may not have been written for the restaurant, however. Prince said he hopes someone will buy it and reopen it. He said Friday that he has had more than 10 inquiries toward that end.

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