Message to The GAC Membership

Dear Fellow Members,
 We are slowly coming back to life from a dark time; but we are doing it in a very measured way. The craic is back. Our side yard is great spot to kick back and relax. We had restaurant and bar sales of $30,000.00 for the month of June. That’s a long ways from June of last year when we hit $100,000.00 but it’s a damn site better than the desert wasteland of April and May. Each weekend gets better and I thank you for that. As you can see from the attached photos, we are now open for indoor dining. This past weekend, live music was provided on Saturday night by Damien Connolly and the mood was magical.
We are reintroducing our early opening on Wednesdays through Fridays and will offer a special happy hour menu of sliders, tacos and mozzarella sticks, for $2.00 a plate. You can also order French fries, (sweet or Idaho), onion rings or waffles.
July 4th will be a banner day for us. We will hold our first barbecue of the year from 12:30 to 2:30. Corky and his staff are going all out. A plate of bbq ribs, bbq chicken, hot dogs, slider burgers with sides of coleslaw and potato salad, or any combination thereof, will be available for $16.00 a plate. If that sounds like a “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” moment, you can get a hot dog and fries for $5.00.
Music will be provided by Chuck & Andy from The C-Sides from 12:30 to 2:30. I hope to see as many of you there as can make it.
For planning purposes, it would be a great help to Corky, Tommy and Chris to get an idea of how many members will be there and I would appreciate your calling (203)254 0673 to make reservation.
Faith Maciver our Vice President and volunteer in charge of a host of popular events at the Club (you name it, she probably runs it) and her side kick Angus, will start up Trivia Night in the side yard on July 10th at 7. No snacks can be brought into the Club as per the Governor’s regulations, but the happy hour and regular menu will be available for participants as well as bags of chips, nuts and pretzels. This should be a sell out and again you should call (203 254 0673) to reserve a table.
The regular menu is available at all regular hours and we continue our take out meal service which has proven to be very popular.
I know members have been asking about when they can use their scrip. I promised you that when the Club opened for in-door dining you could use your scrip for all events. That time is upon us and you can now pay by scrip or credit card. Additionally you can pay by check or gift card. You can obtain a gift card, where the balance has no expiry date, by purchasing one by check at the Club or by mailing in a check and we will mail you the gift card. We are not accepting cash at this time as a safety measure for our members and staff. The dollars in our pockets do not come directly from the mint and unless you made them yourselves, their origin and formers possessors are unknown and we don’t want them floating around among members and staff. I have suggested a money laundering service but we are still working out the details.
Please come out and join me on Saturday when you will hear calls of “Who was that masked man?”. It’s your chance to be incognito as nobody will know you with your mask and should the moment move you, you can even pretend it’s Halloween.
Regards and stay safe,
Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President
PS: I will be sending a separate message regarding our members.
May 27, 2020
Dear Fellow Members,
Well we are almost through May in these tough times. We are coming through it together, however. The first sign of spring may be the crocus, but for us it was our opening for outdoor dining starting this past Memorial Day weekend. Little did we realize at the start of the year why it would be so memorable
Opening day on Friday marked a milestone in our resurrection. The weather was great. For those of you at home I have attached a couple of pictures of the event. The first was taken of the outdoor dining area by Tommy Flaherty our intrepid general manager who risked life and limb to get an aerial shot from the roof of the Club.
Incidentally, the reason we are requiring reservations is to avoid members coming in close proximity of each other while waiting in line for a table. So, pretend it’s Halloween, put on your masks and come out for the craic. We will also continue our popular take-out service during this time. A links to both menus can be found below.
As you can see, the tables are spaced much farther apart than the minimum required six feet specified in the Governor’s Order. The average space between tables is in fact, fifteen feet but still within shouting distance.
It seemed like an echo of happier times as you can see from the photo of Jude Fitzgerald former Club president and presently well-known bartender, reprising her role in, “Have Guinness, Will Travel”.
Because the members who turned out, told us it was a very welcome and effective cure for cabin fever, we are going to continue the outdoor dining
Wednesdays: thru Friday are 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm | 7 to 9pm
Saturday: 12 to 1:30pm | 1:30 to 3pm | 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm | 7 to 9pm
Sunday: 12 to 1:30pm | 1:30 to 3p | 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm
The number for reservations is 203- 254- 0673.
Members once again showed their concern for others while going through tough times by donating $1,800.00 for our front-line health workers box lunch program. We delivered six hundred lunches to the Carolton Center. I have attached a picture showing the last of the deliveries on a table at the Center. Your concern for others is consistent the traditions of our culture. The Irish have long memories. In this regard you may have recently read about the donations coming from Ireland to the Navaho and other Native American tribes suffering severe economic deprivation as a result of the coronavirus. As you may also know, in an American version of “To hell or to Connaught”, the Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek tribes during their forced 1,000 mile trek to Oklahoma, following their expulsion from their farms in Georgia and the Carolinas, the famous “trail of tears”, took up a collection and sent what they had to Ireland for famine relief. As I said, the Irish don’t forget their friends. I am minded of the old Irish saying, “May God give us the wisdom to know our friends and may he turn the heels of our enemies, so that we will know them by their limp.”
On a sad note, since we have not been able to hold our monthly membership meetings, it falls to me to inform you of the passing of some of our members since our last meeting; Patricia Connelly, Rita Bennett, John Corsair Robert Hough and Breda O’Halloran.
In addition, Club member Brendan Quinn lost his mother Ann and Teresa McCormack and Jim McInerney lost their sister Christine O’Donnell.
Our best wishes and condolences go out to the families.
Stay safe and God bless,
Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President

May 20, 2020

Dear Fellow Members,

I AM VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WEATHER PERMITTING, 

THE CLUB WILL OPEN OUTSIDE DINING BY MEMBERS IN THE SIDE YARD STARTING ON FRIDAY MAY 22ND.

As you can see from the photo of the table set-up, we have made the maximum use of our space, with no table closer than six feet to any other table. We are extremely fortunate that unlike many local restaurants, we have a very large outside area that is completely fenced in and we are not forced to utilize sidewalks or parking lots to enable outdoor seating.

No one has any experience in providing outdoor dining in the present situation. We are mindful of the need to take steps to protect the health and safety of our staff who will be preparing and serving the food and drinks as well as you, our members, who will be coming to join us.

I am sure many of us can identify with the ground hog, as it feels like we will be emerging from a long winter spell in our burrows to enter the springtime of our lives.

We have worked hard to ensure everyone has a great experience, while at the same time following the safety measures promulgated by the State for our protection. The last thing any of us wants, is that two months of our complying with the State’s shelter-in- place regulations are wasted by a careless disregard for the safety practices we are required to follow.

By utilizing the outdoor tables, we purchased last summer and the round tables from the Carolan Room, we have been able to field 18 tables.

The menu specially designed for the Memorial Day weekend Is attached. Although there will be no bar area, as part of your dining experience, members can also purchase mixed drinks and beer and wine by the bottle and glass which will served at their table.

As we have 6,000 members for 18 tables, and we need to avoid members waiting in line for tables which would be a violation of the “social distancing” regulations, we are instituting a seating protocol with reservations required.

There will be Three Seatings on Friday 3 to 5, 5 to 7, 7 to 9;   
There will be two additional Seatings on Saturday and Sunday 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3.
The number for reservations is 203 254 0673.

As we are not set up to operate in the rain, please call on the day you are scheduled to come if the weather report is threatening. Let’s hope that we won’t get any snow.

Members will be asked to show their membership cards and they and their families will enter the side yard through the gate in the parking lot which will be clearly marked. All members and family must be wearing masks upon entry. Masks can be removed for eating and drinking.

Although there will a list of procedures to be followed by members posted at the entrance, I want to advise you of some of the measures we are taking to protect you.

  • All members of staff including kitchen, bar and servers will be wearing masks and gloves;
  • No reusable menus will be used;
  • Tables and seats will be sanitized after each seating;
  • Disposable plastic plates, glasses and cutlery will be used;
  • There will be no buffets or self-service stations, all service will be at the tables;
  • No members will be allowed in the building except to use the rest rooms which will be sanitized frequently. Access to the restrooms by members who are required to be masked will be by a different door than that used by the servers.
  • Hand sanitizers will be available.
  • The next rule will be very hard, but we need to do it, parents will be required to monitor their children so as to maintain the required six-foot distance from other diners;
  • We will accept reservations for four members at each table and up to five members of a family;

I note that the Governor has indicated that Clubs can open for indoor dining on June 20th while the Connecticut Restaurant Association has requested an earlier date of June 3rd. We plan to start indoor dining on the earliest date authorized by the Governor at which time we will also accept payment by scrip. At the present time as with “take-out” sales (which will continue during Wednesdays to Sunday s) we can only accept payment by credit card.

I will be sending my usual monthly message to members by a separate mailing.

I hope this Memorial Day weekend will also be memorable as the starting of our reawakening. As we are all new to this, please cut us a little slack if we seem to be inefficient or messed up. We will get better as time goes on. I promise.

WE ARE OPEN!

God bless and stay safe,

Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President

PS: If any member is not feeling well or has recently experienced any flu like symptoms, we ask you protect yourself by staying home.

Members should also be aware of the State’s recommendation that people in high risk groups such as those with underlying conditions or over the age of 65 should continue to stay safe and stay home.