Main Post Club: Putting the 'club' back into community club
YONGSAN GARRISON -- The sign changed. New management rolled into town and new food choices and events popped up. Bring in the new…wait... old Main Post Club?
For many years the formerly named (from 2011 to October 2015) R&R Bar and Grill was named the Main Post Club. And, if you talk to folks who have been around before 2011, it was the place to go.
However, up until about eight months ago, most would not have called the R&R club the post 'club' or the place to go to hang out. The name alone at the time merely suggested a restaurant. Fortunately, in a short time, through strategic planning, new event concepts and a lot of heart and soul, the Main Post club is slowly becoming the place to be.
"I arrived in Seoul, Korea, in July," said Jeff Wertz, USAG-Yongsan, Director for FMWR. "During my first week in Seoul, I wandered through the different facilities to get a 'feel' of the post's activities and services. And when Wertz, who was staying at the Dragon Hill Lodge at the time, asked the staff there where the community club was located, the staff looked puzzled.
"They had no idea," said Wertz. "I was told that there was an R&R Bar and Grill not far from the hotel and located next to the MWR bowling center. Based on their response, I assumed it was a restaurant operated by AAFES," said Wertz. It was not until he went into the bowling center and started talking with the staff that he discovered that the R&R Bar and Grill was actually the USAG-Yongsan Community Club.
"The name R&R Bar and Grill, to me, suggests a single purpose, a restaurant," said Wertz. "An Army community club is so much more," said Wertz. "I knew within my first few hours of arriving here that a top item on my list would be to change back the name of the facility."
So Wertz, along with his business operations director, Keith Colbert, set out to put the 'club' back into the Yongsan on post community.
According to Wertz, an Army community club consists of many components, not just a restaurant.
"It is a meeting place for the community... a place for folks to have a good time with DJ's or live entertainment, or hold a promotion party," explained Wertz.
One of the newest Wednesday night special events is specifically designed to bring in a club like atmosphere. The first annual Grid Iron Challenge kicked off Sept. 9 and like the NFL season, will run for seventeen weeks every Wednesday night. NFL and college football fans can test their knowledge by trying to pick the winners of approximately 30 games. Also, there's tons of prizes up for grabs and the best part of it all: it's free of charge. "Even if you are not a football fan, it is a chance to bond with your friends, staff, and coworkers," said Wertz.
According to Colbert, what used to be a turnout of about "five or six guys or gals sitting at the bar" on Wednesday nights has turned into a gathering of more than 80 community members relaxing and unwinding while trying to win prizes throughout the football season. The Grid Iron Challenge will end right before the Super Bowl which, of course, the Club plans to hold a huge party to celebrate. Another new concept brought on board is a Couple's Night Out--a special dinner for two featuring fine dining food and a "date night" atmosphere. The new initiative has produced two night's outland according to Colbert, "very positive feedback."
The romantic dinner for two boasts "awesome food, good conversation," which, the FMWR team hopes will turn into another community 'mainstay' to go along with the regularly scheduled activities the 16, 000 square foot facility currently puts on.
Goodbye buffet, hello Chef's Choice
Flashback again to early summer 2015 and lunchtime was pretty bleak at the R&R Bar and grill. There was a tired buffet filled with food that both Wertz and Colbert felt needed a desperate facelift. However, instead of simply changing out buffet items, Colbert decided to do away with the buffet and focus on chef specials that customers would know would be made quickly to ensure a timely return to work. Each weekday brings a different item and Colbert's hands-on approach has included him personally bringing in recipes for the staff to try and perfect.
The club's approach to revamping the atmosphere is simple: make the club staff excited about customer service and be consistent with quality products. "There really has been a boost in the customer service and I think it's because our staff is excited about putting love and respect back into the food," said Colbert. "We're getting fresh product; we got rid of many canned foods and we're trying to show customers that we're focused on quality products."
During the week, the club still has the ongoing programs that the community knows and loves: Saturday afternoon bingo, Texas Hold'em, Karaoke, and Salsa Night. The community can expect more exciting changes in its Main Post Club, especially because both Wertz and Colbert promote customer feedback. "We're constantly asking for feedback and talking to folks. We're definitely listening," said Wertz.
There is a famous line quoted from a Shakespeare play, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well in this case, Wertz, Colbert and the rest of the DFMWR team would disagree. The red brick building has more heart, regardless of the name on the building. The Main Post Club is here to offer something to the entire Yongsan community. If you would like to learn more about the Main Post Club and USAG Yongsan Family and MWR, please become of fan of the USAG-Yongsan, FMWR Facebook page. Contact the Community Club directly, please call the commercial line 050-3323-5678 or the DSN at 723-5678