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Manager brings new excitement to club

RANCHO SANTA FE — It has been only a few months since Al Castro took over as general manager of the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and there is already a lot of positive buzz about the changes at the club, like “Yappy Hour.” 

No, that is not a typo.

It’s a new event where customers and their dogs can get together for an evening of fun.

“Doggie parents can bring their dogs and socialize with other doggie parents. The dogs can play with each other and the doggie parents can have cocktails,” Castro said. “Kids can bring their pets and have some fun with other families with pets,” he said.

The first Yappy Hour is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 13. They will occur every month or so.

“The next one will have an Oktoberfest theme named ‘Brews and Dogs’ on Oct. 11.

And Castro says he may not be able to resist having a “Howloween” event for the dog families of the Covenant.

Castro did not forget the two-legged members of the club. They get their own “Happy Hour,” mid-week.

“We are having happy hour on Wednesday nights. We have food and drink specials from 4:30 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday,” he said.

Things are changing in the kitchen as well.

“The menu changes every single day and always includes fresh fish and exciting specials,” he said.

Hours for dinner service have been expanded to include Tuesdays and Saturdays and the club is now open for breakfast on Saturday mornings.

“We are on the on verge of getting a new executive chef at the club,” he said.

“Customers have told me it’s nice to see some energy and some excitement and innovation coming to the club,” he said.

Castro said he is looking to maybe begin a Christmas tree lighting tradition at the club and other holiday themed dances and events.

Coming up is the annual wine festival on Oct. 13.

“We will have 35 vendors and some great wine,” he said.

Castro came to Rancho Santa Fe from Indian Wells where he was the assistant general manager at The Vintage. He is a certified club manager and a Level II certified sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

“It’s exciting, there is so much potential here. We’re moving right along and making some good progress.”