There is no better way to get the Muncie community together than over food and golf for all ages. At least that’s what the president of Accutech Systems Corporation Adam Unger said.
The Clubhouse @ Accutech first opened its doors to the public in July 2022. While the path creating the ins and outs of the restaurant were challenging, it was nothing but fun, Scott Smalstig, director of community growth at The Clubhouse @ Accutech, said.
“[Unger] always wanted to do something that would help get rid of Muncie’s image of having nothing to do,” Smalstig said.
Unger’s idea of philanthropy weighed heavily on him in the middle of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Combining a few ideas of what he saw around the country and with the help of Smalstig, The Clubhouse @ Accutech was created.
“We still do plenty of [donating to non-profit organizations], but we wanted to do something that moved the needle in the community and that was to create this as our first project,” Smalstig said. “We have also purchased Vera Mae’s [Bistro] down the street.”
According to the Accutech website, “Accutech fulfills its purpose to make great things happen for other people by delivering innovative trust and wealth management technology solutions and exceptional, personalized service for over 200 banks and wealth management companies nationwide.”
The company’s core values also lie with ensuring great things happen for their team as well as customers.
“This space was originally for Accutech employees to just chill out,” Nick Kirkpatrick, executive chief and general manager of The Clubhouse @ Accutech, said.
The Clubhouse @ Accutech is located in the heart of Muncie, a six-minute drive from Ball State University’s campus. Walking into the new business, customers are immediately met with smiling caddies.
Many customers can be found walking throughout the wide open space, moving at their own pace with a smile on their face. The venue consists of a dining area overlooking parts of Muncie, and 16 holes to play in the micro-golfing section. Players can keep track of their scores for friendly competition.
“There’s no place like it in Muncie,” Haleight Haffner, fourth-year criminology major at Ball State, said. “Micro Golf was very unique and, at times, very difficult. It was a great time, [and] I love the atmosphere.”
The four digital golfing bays have 14 courses where customers can play like the pros. The bar has a more relaxed and dim atmosphere, located next to Rays Bay, where parties are booked. Guests might be surprised to learn the venue doesn’t just offer golf but just about any digital sport one can think of, including carnival games. Players can bring their own golf clubs, but the Clubhouse offers golfing equipment for ages 3 and up.
The Clubhouse @ Accutech can be compared to Top Golf but with a digital twist that includes a family-friendly environment, and people don’t have to stand outside on a deck. Guests can easily stay inside to golf.
“It’s always sunny and 72 [degrees] here at The Clubhouse,” Smalstig said, laughing.
The Muncie Riverfront District project was put into effect by Ridenour after approval from the Delaware County Council in order to create less expensive liquor licenses. Ridenour said the purpose of this was to spark growth and economic development in Muncie, furthering the creation of The Clubhouse @ Accutech.
“We didn’t know [Accutech] was interested in restaurants at that point, but we’re really excited with what they put together,” Ridenour said.
The Riverfront District ultimately made it easier for business owners looking to open restaurants downtown, as one of the most profitable items in a restaurant to sell is liquor. Ridenour said a liquor license can help a business thrive and survive, which increases demand downtown.
One thing Smalstig and Unger did was create more jobs in the Muncie community.
“I was hired to help create spin-off businesses to help meet our definition of philanthropy,” Smalstig said. “Those three things are to create jobs, enhance the quality of life in downtown Muncie and instill pride in the community.”
Smalstig said interacting with hundreds of people every week has proven to be difficult but impactful in a different way compared to their core business of software development.
“We have a couple clients from coast to coast, but they’re not here in this community. We wanted a real impact,” Smalstig said.
The need to bring people together again became precedent after the pandemic for those involved in the Muncie community. Ridenour said downtown is “really the heart of the city,” and feels The Clubhouse @ Accutech is a big part of this comeback and hopes to continue this approach with more businesses in the future.
“Muncie’s a great city,” Smalstig said. “We want the people of Muncie to be proud of our city, and we feel there is a lot to be proud of.”