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Ford’s Boathouse contract set for approval Monday

By Staff | Aug 22, 2013

During Monday’s regular City Council meeting at City Hall, an administrative resolution is set to preliminarily approve the terms for a lease between the city and Ford’s Boathouse to replace the old K-C’s River Stop in providing food, bait/tackle and fueling services at the Yacht Club.

According to Daniel Kearns, whose son, Zak, will run Ford’s Boathouse, things have progressed smoothly.

“We’re finalizing it now and we should have our lease by next week,” Kearns said. “We’re going to get our permits now.”

Ford’s will expand the deck to double the size, as well as redo the building to make it look like a boat, Kearns said.

Ford’s also will have boat rentals and a pontoon boat for sunset cruises, according to Kearns.

Kearns said Ford’s could be open in December.

The terms of the agreement include a five-year lease with three five-year options. The first five years will be at a rate of $3,500 per month, with 4 percent of gross annual receipts over $700,000, to be increased by .5 percent in five-year increments.

Ford’s Boathouse will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with additional hours on the weekend possible after six months of operation based on the impact on the neighborhood and whether the city manager or the city council approves it.

“We’re going to be cognizant of our neighbors because we’ve opened places close to neighbors,” Kearns said. “If we can expand hours without affecting someone’s personal life, then we’ll look at that.”

In the meantime, the city has tried to fill the gap with temporary food services. Currently, Shorty’s Heavenly Dogs has taken up location under the banyon tree outside the former K-C’s, selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and cold drinks.

Mary Fuller said she set up her temporary place just last Saturday after the previous interim food service, a barbecue vendor, left.

“They told me it wasn’t working for them. I guess they didn’t like that heavy food. They wanted something quick,” Fuller said. “We got a lot of business the first weekend with the kids in the pool. During the week we’re keeping people happy.”

Fuller said she expects to be there for about four months, or roughly until the end of the year.

It was slow Wednesday, with adults streaming in and out for a quick snack.

The city has put out some picnic tables and chairs nearby to allow people a place to eat in the relative cool of the shade, Fuller said.

And some of those who have come were the same ones who came to K-C’s for years.

Louie Galpin used to go there every day for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. He returned on this day for a couple of hot dogs.

“I’ve come here 12 years. I think any change is good. We’ll see how it works out,” Galpin said.

In July, Ford’s Boathouse was named the top-ranked firm of two to take over the location after the city decided against extending the lease of K-C’s River Stop, which expired in June, without also looking at other options for the city-owned site.