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Overlook Adventure Park at Nelson Park

DECATUR — Visitors of Overlook Adventure Park will soon be able to enjoy foot-long corn dogs and other offerings after Everyone's Fair Fooderie opens later this spring, the Decatur Park District announced Wednesday. 

During their regular meeting, the district's board of commissioners approved a partnership with the restaurant's owners, Stephanie and Nick Morganthaler — who also own Everyone's East End Grill at 566 North Brush College Road.

The park district said Everyone's Fair Fooderie will serve a variety of fair-inspired food and healthy options, like fresh fruit and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches on a stick. The new restaurant will take over the space formerly occupied by CherryBerry, which closed in 2017. 

"We are very excited and happy to be teaming up with the park district, and we look forward to serving up some good food to happy customers," Morganthaler said in a statement.

Overlook, which is adjacent to Nelson Park on Illinois 36, features a mini golf course, a ropes course and batting cages. Crews are also working on a $10.5 million water park at the facility, which is expected to open in 2020. 

Kendall Peterson, who owned CherryBerry and the Ted's Taters restaurant next door, cited health concerns as the reason behind the closure of both locations in 2017. Mister Softee has since moved into the former Ted's Taters, which specialized in sandwiches, hot dogs and a variety of specialty fries.

"This is another great example of a public/private partnership that will blend recreational activity with a family-friendly destination spot for delicious, quick service food," said park board President Chris Harrison in a statement. 

Harrison also added that Everyone's Fair Fooderie will serve as a complement to the "sweet treat offerings" at Mister Softee. 

Park district Executive Director Bill Clevenger said the Fooderie's lease with the district is an annual one and is worth $5,845. He echoed Harrison's statement, stating the restaurant should "blend well" with the ice cream shop.

As a whole, Clevenger said, all of Overlook's current and future amenities should provide a "full menu of activities" for people to enjoy. 

In other business Wednesday, the board voted 3-2 to formalize an agreement with the City of Decatur to continue fuel sales at Lake Decatur this summer.

Clevenger said both government bodies will equally share any losses or profits that come from operating the gas dock, which is located along the Nelson Park shoreline. "Last summer, we broke even," he said of the fuel sales. 

This is the second year the city and park district will collaborate to keep fuel sales on the lake. Last summer, they worked together reopen the gas dock after the park district initially said it would be closed due to low sales.

That decision was met with an outcry from boaters, despite the park district only selling about 5,000 gallons a year from the pump.

Clevenger said the board voted 3-2 on the fuel sales agreement, with commissioners Bob Brilley II and Stacey Young as "no" votes. Brilley did not immediately respond to a call for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Young, speaking in a phone interview, said she voted against the agreement because she felt the park district ultimately shouldn't be responsible for providing fuel for boats — as the city maintains the lake. 

"Ideally, (long-term solutions) would be for the city to take over the operation or for us to help the city find a third-party marina operator," she said. 

The gas dock will reopen at Nelson Park on Saturday, May 25, and will be open for limited hours this summer on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and on holidays, Clevenger said. 

This story may be updated.

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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