Jeffrey M. Spencer, an 18-year veteran of the food service industry and a former corporate and executive chef, has been named the new manager to operate and provide food services at the Viera East Golf Course clubhouse in Rockledge.
The unanimous decision was made Thursday, Sept. 23 at the Viera East Community Development District meeting in the multi-purpose room at Faith Lutheran Church in Viera.
Spencer, along with his wife Lillian, reside in the Grand Haven development off the Pineda Causeway in Suntree.
The VECDD selected Spencer following a presentation he made to the board at a workshop and meeting Sept. 9 and Sept. 23.
The VECDD wanted to enter into a management or lease agreement to provide full-service bar and restaurant operations at the clubhouse.
VECDD chairman Robert Dale said the Board of Supervisors sought a new or existing operator that will assist with expanding lifestyle amenities through events at the restaurant.
Dale said the golf course and restaurant are an integral part of the Viera East lifestyle and wanted it to produce more revenue for the VECDD.
Under some of the proposed terms of agreement for the restaurant operation, Spencer will be responsible for the following:
Contract length is for three years, starting Oct. 1, 2021 and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
VECDD will pay for all food costs, supplies and other labor costs.
Manager has ownership of name, but shall grant VECDD unrestricted permanent name use.
Manager cannot compete with VECDD within 10 miles, without written permission.
After three years, manager can sell or transfer their ownership interest with prior approval from VECDD.
Manager would serve as restaurant consultant prior to and during renovations.
In his presentation, Spencer announced the name of the clubhouse restaurant to be the Hook & Eagle Tavern.
“Our menus are going to be based around Southern culture,” he said. “We will have Southern-inspired food in a tavern setting the will appeal to all.”
Spencer said the restaurant should be ready and open around the second week of November. “Just in time for our seasonal residents,” he said.
Prior to becoming the new manager at the clubhouse restaurant, Spencer was produce specialist for Mr. Green’s Produce; director of food and beverage operations for Long Doggers Eateries and Hemingway's Tavern; district sales representative for Cheney Brothers; division executive chef and business development manager for U.S. Foods, and executive chef for La Cita Golf and Country Club in Titusville.
Academically, he attended the Walt Disney World Center of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Orlando.
“At this point in my career I really wanted to have the opportunity to be a partner/owner of a restaurant,” he said. “I wanted to service the community and provide them with a great dining and eating experience.”