For the past five years, Dan Murph may well have had the best view in all of downtown Bowling Green.
Murph, owner of the four-story Kentucky Grand Hotel on College Street next door to the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, now wants to share that view.
Murph, who opened the eight-suite boutique hotel in 2016, has converted the top floor from a large area that could be rented for parties and receptions into what he is calling the Kentucky Grand Club.
Murph describes the 4,000-square-foot space overlooking Circus Square Park, which includes a 40-seat dining room, a private bar and lounge and a conference room, as a place for business professionals to have white tablecloth lunches and dinners and private meetings with clients.
“It’s a social club where people can make meaningful social connections and enjoy a fun evening out on the town,” Murph said of the members-only club that opened two weeks ago and is available at an annual fee for individuals and families.
Murph, a songwriter and music producer whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Randy Travis and Reba McEntire, said the idea for the private club was sparked by entertainers and business executives who make up the Kentucky Grand Hotel’s usual clientele.
“What motivated it was customer requests,” he said. “We have a lot of CEOs who stay with us. They’ve suggested we open a private members-only club.
“It affords them the ability to come here and never leave the hotel except for meetings. But we realized that was not enough volume, so we opened it to the Bowling Green community.”
Larger cities have had such private clubs for years, so Murph decided to gamble on Bowling Green supporting such a venue as well.
“A lot of our members don’t play golf or tennis, so they don’t need a country club membership,” he said. “We feel like we meet a specific purpose.”
Murph said he used the down time resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to do the remodeling needed to open the Kentucky Grand Club that he said has been accepted well by the initial 40 or so members.
“We started with people who had been requesting that we open a club, and then we branched out to some regular business customers,” he said. “Being downtown in a central location, I feel like it’s an ideal place for businessmen and women to entertain clients in a private setting.”
The Kentucky Grand Club opening follows the June opening of the Kentucky Grand Restaurant on the hotel’s ground floor as Murph tries to rebrand the property and emerge from the pandemic.
“This (Kentucky Grand Club) is a stepping stone for a mid-sized city like Bowling Green,” he said. “We’ve made the prediction that Bowling Green is ready for this type of experience.”
The Kentucky Grand Club is open Tuesday through Saturday. More information about the club can be found at the kentuckygrandclub.com website.
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.