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Birdie's Links and Drinks to bring golf simulators, mini golf and family fun to Middletown

DelawareOnline.com (Wilmington, DE) logo DelawareOnline.com (Wilmington, DE) 7/3/2022 Brandon Holveck, Delaware News Journal
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A Delaware family wants to bring an entertainment center with indoor golf simulators, miniature golf, backyard games and a restaurant and bar to the growing Route 299 corridor of Middletown.

The Hannum family says their Birdie's Links and Drinks will be a "first of its kind" facility in Middletown, offering a family-friendly entertainment choice to complement new business development in the area.

Mother Marge and sons David and Dylan are partners in the new business, which is in the final stages of Middletown's approval process. They hope to break ground in August and open next spring. With backgrounds in finance and marketing, it's their first venture of this kind.

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"When you think about family-friendly entertainment, rain or shine year-round – we're trying to create that space," Marge Hannum said. "We want this to be a go-to destination."

Birdie's will have eight golf simulators, where golfers hit into a screen and watch their ball's flight digitally. The simulators can also be used for other sports, such as soccer and basketball.

Up to six people can use each simulator at once. They will be rented on a time basis. David Hannum said they haven't determined prices.

The 30,000-square-foot building will also have two black light, 18-hole indoor miniature golf courses. The yard games will range from corn hole to shuffleboard to giant Jenga and Connect Four.

Dylan Hannum described the focus of the bar and restaurant as "American-style, southern cuisine."

The family expects to hire around 50 employees.

A rendering of restaurant seating at Birdie's Links and Drinks, an indoor entertainment center with golf simulators planned in Middletown. © Provided by David Hannum A rendering of restaurant seating at Birdie's Links and Drinks, an indoor entertainment center with golf simulators planned in Middletown.

Birdie's Links and Drinks will be built on an open plot on Auto Park Drive behind the Crooked Hammock Brewery off Middletown Warwick Road (Route 299). The site is just north of Amazon's Middletown fulfillment center, the recently opened Breakthru Beverage warehouse and the future home of STA Pharmaceutical's U.S. headquarters.

The area is also surrounded by several newly constructed and proposed housing developments.

David Hannum said the idea behind the business started with the family looking for ways to honor his late Aunt Beanie, Marge's sister Eileen Bird. They wanted to create a social atmosphere modeled after her "larger than life" personality.

"We called her our social queen," David Hannum said.

Darin O'Brien of Manasquan, New Jersey takes a swing at Golf Kings, an indoor golf facility in Brick, New Jersey. © Doug Hood Darin O'Brien of Manasquan, New Jersey takes a swing at Golf Kings, an indoor golf facility in Brick, New Jersey.

The Hannums landed on golf, the focus of many family outings through the years as the sons grew older.

They visited several indoor golf venues in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as they researched simulators. The idea bloomed from golf to an indoor entertainment center with activities for guests of all ages.

"There's nothing like it in the state," Dylan Hannum said.

Even a casual golfer will recognize the name of the business, "Birdie's," as the term used for one under par. But for the Hannums, it takes on a second special meaning. Birdie was another of Aunt Beanie's nicknames.

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Contact Brandon Holveck at bholveck@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @holveck_brandon.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Birdie's Links and Drinks to bring golf simulators, mini golf and family fun to Middletown

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