Michael Marchesi, center, explains his plans for the concession at Windsor Lake.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mikey Joe's barbecue will take over the concession stand at Windsor Lake this summer.
Amy Whisenant, who operated the concession for two years, had decided not to return, said George Forgea, chairman of the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission.
'It's important to the lake to keep that concession open," he said.
Michael Marchesi, who operates Mikey Joe's, said he would offer family fare and moderately priced items including corn dogs, fried dough, french fries, wing dings and frozen lemonade.
"Our normal menus leans more toward barbecue and dogs," he said, but also includes vegetarian fare.
He said his barbecue and sauces are homemade and gluten-, lactose-, sodium- and MSG-free. He said he would look into obtaining wraps and breads that were gluten free as well.
"I'm not going to put my name out there on something I don't like," he told the commission on Thursday.
Marchesi has been operating a cart at the farmers market and local events during the summer. His background is 29 years running large automotive centers but decided it was time for a change a few years ago and was encouraged by friends who had tried his homemade sauces.
He started out selling hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches in front of the Berkshire Athenauem in Pittsfield.
"I didn't sell a single hot dog, only pulled pork," Marchesi said, which sealed his venture into BBQ.
The commission voted to recommend he take over the concession; Mayor Richard Alcombright, who attended the meeting, thought it a good choice.
Marchesi, of Lanesborough, said he would be closed Mondays, and possibly Tuesdays unless the weather was very good.
Hours would be 11 to 7 and later on concert nights. Marchesi said his cart is fully portable with steam tables and griddle and he would be able to bring it to concertgoers.
"With the cart, we can go right down to the beach," he said.
He suggested having a barbecue cookoff at the lake that the commission thought was a good idea as part of the overall campaign to market the lake and Historic Valley Campground.
"You would have a lot of people come," Marchesi said.
The complex will also be getting a firepit, a volleyball court made possible through donations from the last year's MCLA Sam Gomez Race, and some restoration of the beach area.
Officials are hoping to replace the outdated playground equipment through a fundraising drive and from grants.
The mayor said he would look into the possible use of Chapter 90 road funds to repair the roadway into the campground prior to the opening in mid-May.
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