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Watertown gets one proposal for golf course's clubhouse

Jan. 25—WATERTOWN — The city on Thursday received one proposal from a local man with 10 years of restaurant experience who wants to run the Thompson Park Golf Course clubhouse.

David Marconi, who has worked as a manager and server at several area restaurants, submitted the only proposal to operate the concessions at the clubhouse for the Thompson Park Golf Course.

The city's purchasing department opened the proposal on Thursday morning.

Afterward, Marconi said he would "offer a simplified menu," consisting of subs, burgers, salads, appetizers and a couple of entrees.

"I would cater to the golfers," he said, adding that he also would accommodate park-goers and offer takeout service.

He would pay the city $6 to run the clubhouse for next season.

The owners of Spokes, a Public Square nightspot that closed in December, ran the clubhouse after the city took over the golf course last year. Spokes paid $1 to the city to run it last season.

Under Marconi, the clubhouse would be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and have a staff of about 10 to 12 people. He's targeting a May 1 opening and a mid-October closing for the season.

He's excited about the prospects of running the clubhouse, adding that he's wanted to run his own restaurant for a few years now.

"I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity this time around," he said.

Over the next two to three weeks, the city's purchasing and parks and recreation departments will review his proposal before making a recommendation to City Council. Purchasing director Tina Bartlett-Bearup expects council to consider the proposal during its Feb. 20 meeting.

She had hoped that a few more proposals were submitted on Thursday.

"You only want one proposal, one good one," she said.

Marconi stressed that he's a golfer, playing the sport for about 20 years and was a season member of the golf course last season. He's been a member for about 15 years under the previous owners and also played at Ives Hill Country Club.

"I remember drinking soda pop after playing a round at the park with my grandfather," he said.

The venture would be a family affair with his wife, Nicole, handling the marketing and helping him with being open for golf tournaments and special events; his father, David, working on the administration end of the business; and his mother, Debbie, doing bookkeeping and accountant work.

His father retired last year from New York Air Brake as a supervisor working in supply chain, while his mother was a bank manager until she retired.

Course manager Jordan Northrop said he knows both Marconi and his father through their playing at Thompson Park as members.

In the past, city officials have said getting an operator for the golf clubhouse is crucial in the success of the golf course.

Last year, the city purchased the former Watertown Golf Club from developer Michael E. Lundy.

Marconi, who has worked at Tin Pan Galley, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Anchor Inn, said he approached Lundy a couple of years ago about running the clubhouse for him.