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Greenville Business Magazine

Greenville's Commerce Club Being Acquired by BNG Hospitality Group

Mar 03, 2021 09:48AM ● By David Dykes

Effective Monday, March 22, the Commerce Club, a private club in downtown Greenville, will be acquired by BNG Hospitality Group, BNG officials said.

Terms weren't disclosed.

The Commerce Club’s name will remain the same and BNG is working with One Liberty Square building owners to secure a long-term lease for the facility, BNG officials said. 

With a combined 100+ years of  private club and hospitality experience, BNG specializes in ownership and management of private city, country and sports clubs throughout the U.S.

BNG owns Harbour Club in Charleston, SC, Crescent  Club in Memphis, TN, Plaza Club in San Antonio, TX and Tampa Club in Tampa, FL.  

For over 37 years, the Commerce Club has played a major role in the Greenville business community, bringing people together and building life-long relationships among its members.

Under new ownership, BNG said it will focus on improving the current state of the club and repositioning it to thrive for years to come through a number of key focus areas.

Those areas, BNG officials said, will include club board redevelopment, new and improved sales and marketing efforts for membership and private events, expanded programming calendar and enhanced communication channels to better connect and communicate with club members. 

“We believe there is a great opportunity to build upon the established legacy of the Commerce Club and we  are strongly committed to our club members and serving them at the highest level,” said Sean Laney, founder and president of BNG Hospitality Group. “BNG has made a strong commitment to operate the club as an  extension of members’ homes by providing a quality facility, personalized service, and a wonderful place that they can continue to enjoy, personally and professionally. We look forward to the exciting future of the Commerce Club and are eager to get started.” 

Founded in 2017, BNG Hospitality specializes in club turnaround opportunities when a club needs to focus on reconceptualizing or repositioning to become more relevant to a modern-day demographic.

Its approach considers all areas of club operation, including club leadership, food and beverage development and implementation strategies, membership recruitment and retention, budgeting and business plans and personnel assessment. 

The  Commerce Club will undergo a brief reboot from March 22nd to April 1st to officially bring the venue under BNG’s wing, along with any employees who choose to stay on staff, BNG officials said.

A coda of just 71 words on March 2 announced the apparent end for the Commerce Club, one of Greenville’s popular dining and events venue for almost four decades.

The post to the club’s website said, “Over the past 37 years, the Commerce Club has been a proud member of this community. It is with a heavy heart that we are saying goodbye. The Club will permanently close on Friday, March 19, 2021 at 9 p.m. We thank you for many wonderful years and will treasure the memories we’ve made with Members and staff over the years. It has been our privilege and pleasure to serve you.”

A statement released by club general manager Caroline Neish explained that the club could not be sustained through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Commerce Club has been a proud member of the Greenville community for 37 years which made this decision very difficult,” the statement said. “Like so many other hospitality and service providers, the pandemic created many challenges for the Club. After many discussions about how to ensure a safe, strong and viable future, we determined the Commerce Club was no longer sustainable and made the unfortunate decision to close."

Situated on the 17th floor of the 1 Liberty Square building in Greenville, the club’s members and guests were afforded a breathtaking view of downtown, even as the area grew and revitalized in the years since the club opened its doors in 1984.

The club has more than 1,050 members, according to its website. 

The club listed six members of its management team, including Neish and executive chef Steve Doliget, who has been with the Greenville club since 2017, according to the website information.

The Commerce Club was part of Dallas-based ClubCorp.