The setting in the center of the gigantic oaks of the Audubon Park golf course is highly appealing. Some people come here before or after a round of golf, but others are there to be there. Club membership isn't required.
After a major upgrade to the Audubon golf course in 2001, the Audubon Institute--which owns the park and its famous zoo nearby, among other things--ramped up its food services. This infuriated many of the restaurants who had been supporting Audubon's Zoo To-Do fundraiser for many years but were now shut out of catering gigs in the park. That controversy still simmers. After Katrina was cleaned up, the Clubhouse Cafe was open to the public more than it had been, and benefited from the Magazine Street boom.
The building resembles an oversize cottage, with lots of room on the porches for having a drink and a light meal. Even if you're inside, the windows are big and numerous enough for the greenery outside to pour in visually. The place is big enough for large wedding receptions and similar business, of which it does much.
Don't have high expectations of the food. It's pretty good, but nothing memorable. It's the environment that makes the CLubhouse Cafe popular.