Who are YLPers? Why, all of us who call Yosemite Lakes Park our home. We’re more than an HOA, we are a community of people who love where we live!
More than just a place of majestic mountain views, YLP is people — individuals of all backgrounds and interests. In this series of periodic profiles, we hope to introduce you to many of these folks — to YLOA board members, to managers, to employees, to our valued volunteers and notable neighbors who share our 21 square miles of Sierra foothills. We hope you enjoy learning about these YLPers.
This week it’s Marty Pol, longtime manager of the Fairway Cafe and wife of chef David Pol. She loves her job, her staff and all the people the cafe serves every day of the week. She’s especially enthused about the cafe’s recent renovation and improvements, and invites everyone to come out and see them and enjoy a mouth-watering meal. You don’t even have to play golf!
Tell us about your life growing up.
Well, I’m local. Yeah, I grew up in O’Neal’s, on the San Joaquin Experimental Range, which is on 41. My dad was in the Forest Service.
So I went to the local school, Spring Valley and Sierra High, and then moved back after we got married, after I had kids.
How did you and Dave meet?
We met at a restaurant in Fresno, called Ruben’s. So we met and got married, had a couple kids and we went back up to the mountain. I have two kids, a 30-year-old daughter who has two children and then my son is 27 and he works for the water company here, Jason.
So, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to just grow up and get married and have kids. Then I ended up doing this.
I was in college and was waitressing and enjoyed it, and it just was flexible and good for having a family. So I kept with it. I was a waitress and then a manager at Coco’s. It was kind of like a fancy Denny’s or a Carrow’s, you know.
What do you like about managing the Fairway Cafe?
Well, the hours are good. The flexibility, the people, all that kind of stuff. It’s hard work, yeah, but I don’t mind that.
What do you like the most about it?
You know, interacting with people. And not sitting still all day. I like the movement. I have had some desk jobs and I just couldn’t stand it.
How did you come to the Fairway Café?
I started waitressing when it was a different manager here at the café. I had another job. I was a church secretary. So I worked and me and the other secretary job-shared. So, I worked three days a week there and two days here. So, just to fill in supplement, whatever, and because I had experience, I became manager.
That was in 2000 that I started here. I don’t know how long I was before I became manager, you know, five years maybe . There were maybe two or three managers before I became the manager.
So did you ever want to do something besides the café, like the Blue Heron?
I fill in down there, but I’d rather work here.
What are some of the memorable moments you’ve had here?
I want to say, my crew is the best crew in the world. There are 12 of us including me.
Have you lost many employees, as other restaurants have during the Covid-19 era?
We lost one employee during the Covid thing. Everyone else came back and he only left because he happened to get you know, a good, great job.
What do you think’s behind the loyalty being shown to you and the cafe?
I don’t know. They’re just great people that work here and we have fun. It’s a fun environment. It’s great hours, you’re off by three o’clock every day. We cover for each other. It’s real flexible. The money is good.
Have there been memorable moments, any crazy incidents?
We’ve had a couple fistfights. Yeah, without alcohol involved. But you know, it’s just kind of the same thing day after day.
We stayed open when it snowed. That was fun. We had a snowman out front and people came and that was kind of good. I have pictures somewhere.
Do you change the menu very often?
There’s a hundred things on there. Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot on the menu, so, you know, we run specials every day and the soup changes and stuff. But yeah, it evolves, things that don’t sell we get rid of, we try new things and stuff. So we have a couple vegetarian options that we used to not have and things like that.
What’s the most popular items? Chicken fried steak and eggs, California omelet, the burgers, the five dollar burger day on Tuesdays, the breakfast burritos all of those we sell a lot of.
When are your busiest days and times?
Tuesdays, Sundays, Saturdays, Friday and today (Labor Day) was super busy because the holidays are good for us.
How’s it different running a café that kind of caters to golfers? Does it make any difference?
I don’t think so. We don’t get a whole lot of business from the golfers. It’s mostly the community. (Golfers) golf and they drink beer and they go home.
There’s been more in the last couple of years. There have been a lot of different golfers. For a long time, it was just the men’s club and nobody else golfed.
So the golf course is getting a lot more business, I believe. And they’ve actually encouraged other people that golf. And so we’ve gotten more business as a result of that as well.
But sometimes we do special things with tournaments and stuff like that.
So what have the recent improvements and renovation meant to you?
It’s been great! It’s been a long time coming and it’s really working out well, so the flow’s a lot better. We have more room to cook, more room to see people. Mainly it’s efficiency and the cooking space.
We increased the cooking space, because they did all that business on four burners, just like at your house for years and years and years. Now it’s six burners and a bigger grill and two fryers.
And the employees love it.
What are some of your hobbies or other interests?
I like to hike. I babysit my grandkids on my two days off. So I’m doing stuff with children and, you know, hang out with friends and stuff .
We like to travel the coast. I’d like to be there right now. We go to Cayucos and Morro Bay. Love it. Nice and quiet and cool.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just come and see the new place. It’s fun. We’re here. We’ve been open about a month and we’re still getting phone calls: “Oh, we didn’t know you were open.”