Photo Gallery: Greylock Bowl and Golf
NORTH ADAMS -- More than a year after embarking on the renovation and renewal of Greylock Bowl & Golf, Jim Shaker and his team are still working on major changes to the more than 70-year-old facility.
Shaker, the general manager, said after the bowling alley was purchased for $450,000 by Ozzie Alvarez in December 2012, a plan was set in motion.
And by summer 2013, six bowling lanes had been removed, three golf simulators with a pool table and a party room were installed, and the bar was expanded and transformed into a sports-themed restaurant/grill called Mingo's Bar & Grill. More than 20 flat screen TVs were installed, including 11 in Mingo's and a 150-inch screen in the party room.
They also installed more intensive lighting both inside and out, and repainted the exterior, along with repairing the roof, Shaker said.
"That's just the tip of the iceberg," said Seth Shepard, special events manager. "There are a lot more changes coming."
Shaker said they will begin work soon -- as soon as the weather breaks -- on an outside dining deck for Mingo's, and in the summer, the more than 70-year-old pinsetters will be retired and brand new pinsetters installed.
"We want to make it perfect," Shaker said. "It's going to be expensive, but we've got to do it -- we did everything else."
But even without a deck and new pinsetters, Mingo's is serving more than 100 meals every weekend and the golf simulators are usually full. All week the 30 remaining alleys are going strong, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they are usually full, Shaker said. And there have been birthday parties, company events and fundraisers in the party room.
The number of employees has nearly doubled to 42 since the changes were completed.
The restaurant features a full sports theme, with artifacts from recent sports history adorning the walls.
"It's like a museum in here," Shaker said while he walked through the nearly-full eatery at mid-afternoon on a weekday.
On display in Mingo's are seats No. 5 and 6 from the old Boston Garden, signed by Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Hanging on the wall is another Larry Bird autograph -- this one on the section of the floor from the old Boston Garden where Bird famously stole the ball from Isaiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons during Game 5 of the 1987 NBA Eastern Conference finals. It was a pivotal moment that wound up sending the Celtics on to victory that night and in the series.
Shaker swears that the Red Sox charging through the 2013 season and winning the World Series shortly after the opening of Mingo's was an omen.
When the Sox won the series, Shaker said, "the place went nuts."
To top it off, in January, during its tour of the state, the World Series trophy paid a visit to Mingo's for a couple of hours.
To run Mingo's, Shaker brought in chef Mark Mills, previously the chef and general manager at Waubeeka Golf Links for 19 years.
"He was one of the biggest reasons we did this," Shaker said.
Once on board, Mills expanded the kitchen and freezer space, the restaurant dining room was expanded and renovated, and even the bar was stripped down and refinished.
Now, Mills said, although there will always be something that needs tweaking a bit, the kitchen and restaurant are functioning well.
"Now it's just a great place to be -- I look forward to coming to work every day," Mills said.
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