The Duncan Banner

September 12, 2013

Plans for restaurant at Clear Creek fall through

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — There will be no Johnny’s at Clear Creek Lake.

Gay Lynn McCormick, owner of Johnny’s restaurant in Duncan, has withdrawn plans to be a concessionaire and open a restaurant at the 660-acre lake northeast of town.

That leaves all four Duncan area lakes still without any concessionaire to sell fishing, boating and camping permits, soda and snacks or bait. And no restaurant either.

“The lake levels didn’t help, however, I felt confident that is going to change at some point,” McCormick said of her decision to forgo a lake restaurant.

She said someone who worked for her at Johnny’s in town was very interested in running a concession and restaurant operation at Clear Creek, but a better job opportunity came up.

“That was wonderful for her and there’s just not enough of me to go to all places and take care of our core customers, and I didn’t want to jeopardize that in any way,” McCormick said. “It’s not to say that someday it might not happen.”

Members of the Duncan City Council voted in July to award a concessionaire contract at Clear Creek to McCormick and spend $33,675 in repairs and renovations at a now-empty concession building.

Duncan Public Works Director Scott Vaughn said he could still justify spending money to fix the building’s roof, something needed to attract any future operator.

But the money for that and other repairs was not budgeted for those purposes in the first place, he said, and the City Council would have to approve any spending again now that McCormick has dropped out.

Councilman Tommy Edwards said he was disappointed plans had fallen through.

“I was sorry to hear that because those lakes really need a shot in the arm and it would have really helped to have something to draw people to it,” he said. “It would help if we got some rain to get more water in there, too.”

Vice Mayor Ritchie Dennington said the city really needs lake concessionaires. At one time, there were restaurants and concessions at all four lakes.

“My goal, and that of the other councilmen, is for the lakes to become a destination spot with good eating places ... like it was in the past,” Dennington said. “We are willing to put some money into that.”