The Meadowbrook Golf and Events Center in Kilgore, Texas, previously known as Meadowbrook Country Club, has been managed by the city’s fire department since November. The board plans to address feedback from the community before it invests the $20,000 it has designated for capital improvements to the club, the majority of which is slated for the club’s restaurant, Firehouse Bar & Grill.
The city of Kilgore, Texas wants residents to voice their opinion regarding the future of Meadowbrook Golf and Events Center after the city’s fire department took over managing the club in November, the Longview (Texas) News-Journal reported.
City Manager Scott Sellers said the board plans to address feedback from the community before it invests the $20,000 it has designated for capital improvements to the club, formerly known as Meadowbrook Country Club. A majority of the money is slated for renovations and upgrades to the club’s restaurant, Firehouse Bar & Grill, the News-Journal reported.
“The 1306 Bar & Grill was under a semi-private ambience and didn’t necessarily reflect the dining needs of the city as whole,” Sellers said. “The Firehouse Bar & Grill will provide the ambience that will cater to the citizenry at large. As part of this approach, the menu and atmosphere will be casual.”
During the next three weeks, the city is renovating the restaurant, and it will be closed to the public. Seating in the auxiliary rooms will be open by appointment, the News-Journal reported.
Former Mayor Joe T. Parker said putting more money into the restaurant will not help the viability of the club as a whole, the News-Journal reported.
“I used to go to the board meetings and tell them they need to get rid of this restaurant,” said Parker, who was a member of Meadowbrook Country Club from 1990 to 2005. “There’s only one golf course that I know of that a municipality owns and makes money and that’s Overton Community Golf Course, because it does not have a restaurant or anything. It’s strictly a golf course.”
During his time as a member of Meadowbrook Country Club, Parker remembered asking a chef at the club if he would ever consider taking over ownership of the restaurant. “He told me he would make more money being a chef than taking over the restaurant,” Parker said.
Parker visited with Sellers after he learned the city had taken control of the club from previous management, the News-Journal reported.
“I gave him a couple ideas about somebody I thought would be good running it,” Parker said. “But they had already offered that job to the individual, and he turned them down. He had another job to do.”
The city will be closely monitoring the operations of the country club, Sellers said. In the meantime, Firehouse Bar & Grill is eliminating gratuity charges, the News-Journal reported.
“When I went to the City Council this last meeting and requested the $20,000, I talked about a two-part approach,” Sellers said. “In the immediate future of 2014, the city will continue to operate the club as a semi-private course. The membership has the expectation of a restaurant as well as an events center. This multifaceted approach to the golf course is what the city will take a close look at in 2014 to determine which of these functions needs to be eliminated in 2015.”