To stroll into the Country Club is to transport yourself back in time.
The 6,000-square-foot bar and restaurant at 330 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa takes its design cues from early 1900s Americana. Its owners call it a “time-honored sports club” that celebrates the Great Gatsby-esque world of Prohibition, polo, golf and baseball. The drinks and food put modern twists on classic tastes.
“We just wanted old school,” said Andrew Gabriel, a Newport Beach resident who co-owns the venture with Mario Marovic. “It makes it fun.”
The Country Club — no membership required, aside being of legal drinking age — is the latest concept from Marovic, who owns the Wild Goose Tavern down the street, as well as Newport Beach’s Dory Deli, Malarky’s Irish Pub and Stag Bar + Kitchen.
The venue replaces Pierce Street Annex, which closed in late 2016 after first opening in the 1970s.
Pierce Street’s 1950s-era building was distinctive for its A-frame structure, an architectural element kept by Marovic’s team.
The Country Club, though, bears virtually no other resemblance, thanks to the help of Costa Mesa-based Hatch Design Group.
Vintage items — an early 1900s catcher’s mitt, polo mallets, old sports trophies, book stacks, lacrosse sticks, photographs of presidents playing golf — line the walls. There’s even suggestive wallpaper in an area call the Annex Bar, a name that plays homage to Pierce Street.
“We scoured everywhere trying to find cool, old, unique things,” Gabriel said. “We didn’t want it to just feel like another O.C. spot.”
“There’s nothing like it in Orange County,” added Marovic.