Ted Mamola is a former professional golfer from Southern California who always had the urge to open a bar.
So, after Mamola opened Embers Grille in the Boca Park shopping center in September 2011, he opened a new gaming and cocktail tavern called The Lion’s Tail Tavern in Village Square on Sahara Avenue in February.
Mamola, who was born in the San Fernando Valley and grew up in Los Angeles, has led a varied life.
He launched a career in professional golf, playing minitours in California and Arizona from 1996 to 2003.
Then, Mamola spent some time in commercial and residential real estate, working for Coldwell Banker and First Team in Orange County, Calif.
From real estate, Mamola transitioned into retail sporting goods in Newport Beach, Calif.,where he owned a water sports equipment store for two years before selling the business and moving to Las Vegas.
“I always had a desire to be in the bar business. If you do a bar, you need to have a restaurant to go with it,” Mamola said. “The reason I enjoyed bars was that I enjoyed the bar atmosphere.”
Mamola said he had his eye on the 1,800-square-foot vacant space where the old Route 66 bar, which he described as a “dive bar,” used to be.
Mamola approached the real estate agent for the vacant Village Square space and 19 days short of two years later he opened shop.
How did you get into golf?
It’s an addictive game. I have an addictive personality. The first time I hit a good shot, I got the bug.
When did you realize you wanted to give professional golf a shot?
The first time I shot even par. I was 19 years old.
Where are your favorite golf courses to play here?
The old Las Vegas Country Club. It reminds me of the old, classic Southern California courses. It’s the only one that has that type of vibe here. And on the west side, it’s TPC Summerlin. It’s a really good course. It’s prestigious for Las Vegas.
Who are some of your favorite professional golfers?
Arnold Palmer. He has done more for golf than anyone.
What about Jack Nicklaus?
He and Tiger have been the two greatest players of all time. But Jack didn’t have the charm and charisma to be adored the way Arnold was. Arnold put the sport on the map and made people tune in and care.
How intense is your playing now? Are you a casual golfer?
I play charity tournaments. And I always want to play in the state championship. It’s held in the north and the south every other year.
Besides golf, what else do you do for fun?
I like to play live and tournament poker. I’m a sports fan. I grew up a Lakers fan.