After several years on the market, an Auburn-based ice cream maker has purchased the site of the former Blackbeard’s USA fun park on Odlin Road in Bangor.
Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream owners Mike and Sue Jillson plan to convert an existing building at the property into a drive-thru ice cream shop, and will keep the mini golf course as an added attraction. Fielder’s Choice has ice cream shops in Auburn, Brunswick, Manchester, Old Orchard Beach and Sabattus.
“We’ve been looking at Bangor for a couple of years. We wanted to have a spot that could have a drive-thru and plenty of parking, and this spot seemed like the right spot,” said Mike Jillson.
According to city records, Fielder’s Choice purchased the nearly 6-acre property at 339 Odlin Road on April 21, for $705,000. Blackbeard’s USA, which was opened by owners Alan and Gail Ashley in 1995, offered 36 holes of mini golf, batting cages, an arcade and Go-Karts for nearly 25 years. It closed in October 2019, and according to a post on Facebook, the Ashleys plan to retire.
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Fielder’s Choice has asked Bangor’s planning board to approve a plan to demolish the batting cages to construct a parking area, among other modifications. The plan will be heard at the board’s June 2 meeting.
Mike Jillson said ice cream is made fresh daily at each of the Fielder’s Choice locations. The company was named Maine Retailer of the Year by the Maine Retail Association in 2019. As for the mini golf course, the couple intends to keep it the same as it was when it was run by Blackbeard’s, but in 2021 plans to rebrand the course with a baseball theme.
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Mike Jillson said the pitching machines from the old batting cages were donated to local little leagues and the restaurant equipment from Blackbeard’s old snack counter was donated to Lewiston Youth Softball and Baseball, after its snack shack was ransacked and looted by squatters this winter.
Mike Jillson said they plan to have Fielder’s Choice in Bangor open by the end of June.