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Lake-side food and fun
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 While residents living on Jackson Lake have been familiar with the Bear Creek Marina for many years now, owners Shane and Sheryl Spencer are ready to reintroduce their newly renovated marina to the whole county.

Formerly known as Factory Shoals Marina, the marina first opened in 1973 and has been featured in two episodes of "In the Heat of the Night." The Spencers took over the marina four years ago.

After closing its doors for several months for renovations, Bear Creek Marina is open again and now features a giant deck with seating for 96 people, a large music stage and an expanded bar area (with pool tables).

Located in Mansfield, near County Line Road, the marina boasts a tavern and grill with a spacious view of the lake, RV hook-ups, boat launching and storage and a small store.

"All we did was leave the shell up," said General Manager Mark Sullivan of the marina's renovations.

The marina is open Thursday through Sunday. Thursday is Ladies Night at the Marina with drink specials for women and happy hour specials from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. There is karaoke on Friday nights and on Saturdays a live band goes on stage at 9 p.m. Sunday acoustic sets are also planned from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Bear Creek Marina has a full service bar and a line of sandwiches ($4-$6), baskets ($5.50-$7) and appetizers ($2.50-$4). Hot wings are also available. To-go orders are available and have an extra $1.50 charge.

There is a campground with hookups for 21 RVs. Rates are $35 per night and $325 a month. Boat slips and dry storage space are also available. The marina's store sells medium-grade gasoline, oil, cigarettes, bait and beer to go.

Bear Creek Marina is available for private parties and special events.

"We're trying to be the premier marina on the lake," said Shane Spencer. "Lake Jackson is a growing lake. There's been a definite turnaround in the standards of people that live on the lake and we're trying to serve everyone."