You & Yours Distilling founders bringing signature style to Tappers Mini Golf and Cocktails at The Loma Club
Laura Johnson and her partners are bringing their latest project to the Point Loma golf course — mini golf, an upgraded clubhouse and their You & Yours canned cocktails.
In January 2020, Laura Johnson took over operations of The Loma Club, the venerable golf course that dates to the early 1900s.
Those who follow the local bar scene may recognize Johnson as the founder of East Village’s You & Yours Distilling Co. and the first woman to head an urban distillery in San Diego. Since then, You & Yours has received local and national acclaim for its craft cocktails and liquors, plus its trendy, social-media-friendly design.
Now she’s bringing her latest project to the Point Loma site with her business partner/husband Luke Mahoney, Luke’s cousin Oliver Mahoney and John Levan with dreams of opening a mini golf course, an upgraded clubhouse and, of course, You & Yours canned cocktails readily available.
But don’t worry, lovers of Liberty Station’s classic golf course, you can rest easy knowing that this addition, called Tappers Mini Golf and Cocktails, won’t replace the old spot.
“Nothing about the existing nine-hole, par-3 course is changing,” Johnson said. “Everyone is very concerned that we’re touching that. We are not. ... That is sacred and it will stay that way.”
You could say mini golf is the Mahoney family business — Luke’s uncle (Oliver’s dad) builds mini golf courses in their native New Zealand. Oliver followed suit, building mini golf courses in the United Kingdom, which inspired Johnson and Luke to bring the concept to the United States, with an added cocktail twist, given their background in distilling.
The name Tappers is a cheeky nod to a line in a classic golf comedy movie that Johnson coyly declines to name. In fact, being cheeky is a big part of the vibe at Tappers, along with the design aesthetic that fans of You & Yours have come to love.
“You can definitely expect the same caliber of interiors, you can definitely expect it to be a really lovely, aesthetically pleasing environment once it’s done,” Johnson said. “We’re taking cues from country club culture and poking fun at that, making it a really fun, kind of relaxed, casual country club atmosphere. Think of the most fun, cheeky clubhouse that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Though some elements will change, the spirit of The Loma Club will remain intact, she said.
“Tappers is essentially a new concept, a new business, a new attraction that is coming to The Loma Club,” Johnson said. “The Loma Club will continue as it is, obviously a par-3, nine-hole course and clubhouse. Tappers is an addition to The Loma Club. Obviously, there are a lot of locals, a lot of Point Lomans, a lot of Ocean Beach folks, that are there every day or at least several times a week. So we like to make sure they know we’re not touching their digs.”
While they’re adding the Tappers attraction, they’re also giving The Loma Club an upgrade.
“We’re giving the clubhouse a complete refresh, as well as the patio, and we’re building a new spot where you will check in for golf of all types,” Johnson said. “You will be able to check in for your par-3 round or your mini golf round.”
The menu at The Loma Club was given an overhaul when the new operators first came on board, but Johnson said additional upgrades are in the works.
“It’s getting a little more refined, slowly but surely, as we go on. But leaving all the favorites. We still want it to be a really approachable, fun, casual, family-friendly spot,” she said.
One obvious addition is that You & Yours canned cocktails will be available. They’re already on The Loma Club’s bar menu.
Johnson said the plan is to have a soft opening with at least nine holes of mini golf in mid-July. The grand opening is planned for Labor Day. Between now and then, Johnson said, services won’t be interrupted for the most part.
“The only aspect of service or the business that may be out of commission for a short period of time would be the kitchen,” she said. “We will have alternative options. We’ll have some sort of something for folks during that short period of time, but drinks, golf, all of that will be available and up and running through the entire build-out.”
Though no official announcement has been made on the cost of a round of golf, Johnson said nine holes of mini golf will cost less than nine holes of par-3 golf.
Johnson added that while they did their best to retain the original staff of The Loma Club, things have changed in the year and a half since they took over, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So while quite a few original employees remain, they will need to expand. A job fair is planned for the next month or so in an effort to fully staff the establishments.