3.16.2014

Sunday Chat: Lunch with a View of Raleigh's Skyline at PR @ the Poole

I've got a new lunch place in Raleigh to chat about today. I'm excited about this one because it's like dining at a country club or on a resort patio by the golf course. The view of Raleigh's skyline is cool.

PR at the Poole in Raleigh
PR @ the Poole in Raleigh, N.C. 

One of Raleigh's well-known and iconic dining establishments, Player's Retreat, which has been serving State students on Oberlin Road since 1951, has opened a second restaurant at the Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse on the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in the heart of Centennial Campus at N.C. State University.

Yeah, that's a lot of names, but all you have to remember is PR @ the Poole. 


Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse
Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse on N.C. State Centennial Campus
The Atmosphere

PR@ the Poole opened about a month ago. Now that the weather is getting nicer in Raleigh, PR @ the Poole is ready to get the word out about its opening.. As it gets warmer, the restaurant will be extending its hours into the early evening as well. I'm probably most excited about that for the summer time. Diners will also be able to go to the club for holidays like Easter and the 4th of July. Special holiday menus will be served. It is important to note that even though this feels like a country club, it's public and anyone can dine there.

N.C State University invited me to come out to try the food at PR @ the Poole in order to experience the restaurant's atmosphere firsthand. Before I was contacted, I had no idea the restaurant was there and open for business. This was also my first visit to the public golf course, which serves as the home course for NC State's golf team.

With the original Player's Retreat being a popular Raleigh favorite among diners, I think PR @ the Poole will become a Raleigh jewel for people like me who want casual food in a resort-like setting. Nothing could be more relaxing than drinking a NC Craft Beer on a patio.

Outdoor seating at PR at the Poole

The Menu and Food

The menu is in line with the original Player's Retreat menu, but pizza is not served here. The menu is also not as extensive since it does not serve until 2 a.m. PR @ the Poole owner, Gus Gusler, carefully chose some of his more popular items to serve at the clubhouse.

What golfer wouldn't like a beer and a burger?  And I'm not talking about just any burger. I'm talking about fresh, Angus beef grounded daily by the restaurant.  And boy, you can taste the difference.

Angus Beef Burger at PR at the Poole in Raleigh
PR @ the Poole serves fresh, Angus beef 

My entire family got burgers. Sorry!  That was not a lot of variety on our part to try different things, but I couldn't help it. Sitting on that deck overlooking Raleigh's skyline and this golf course made a burger and a NC beer the best choice for me.

My son probably has had a burger in at least six luxury hotels in the past two years, and I don't remember getting this type of reaction after a first bite anywhere, except maybe at the Inn at Biltmore last year. At first bite, he immediately said, "Mmm...this is good!"

HinesSight Blog Restaurant Review

Family-Friendly and Food Price Points

PR @ the Poole is kid-friendly. At our visit, a children's menu was not printed yet, but Gusler says they will get that taken care of right away, and the kid's menu will be in line with what is served at the main Player's Retreat. The prices will also be reasonable with hot dogs at $1.75 and other entrees under $5.00.  My burger included house-made chips and a non-alcoholic drink for $9.95. The restaurant's menu has a concept of 15 meals for $9.95 which include favorites such as a Reuben, chicken salad, grilled chicken, veggie burger, veggie stir-fry plus chili and salads. Heavier entrees are also served with a price point around $15.

I will certainly be back. I probably need to branch out and try something else, but it's going to be hard not to order a burger.

Lonnie Poole Clubhouse at NC State


PR @ the Poole is also a new location in the area for wedding receptions and other parties, events, or celebrations.

Interior of PR at the Poole


Want to Go:
PR @ the Poole
Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse
Centennial Campus
NC State University
Raleigh, N.C.


Disclosure: My only expense at this restaurant was for alcohol beverages, and gratuity. As always, my opinion about a restaurant or property I visit is my own. 











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