CROWN POINT - Joe and Cindy Bodette love barbecue.
"We've been barbecue fanatics for a long time," Joe said. "It's one of our favorite things."
With that in mind, the owners of Frenchman's Restaurant in Crown Point, have started a new venture - Crown Point Barbecue Catering Co.
The new enterprise will specialize in full-service barbecue for graduations, family parties, weddings and other events.
"We feel there is a need for a less expensive, informal catering service in the area, Bodette said.
Crown Point Barbecue Catering Co. service will include barbecue, side dishes, buffet set up, dishes, silverware and other accessories. If needed, arrangements can also be made for tables, chairs and tents.
The business can be reached at 597-3545, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.frenchmansrestaurant.com and on Facebook.
"I grew up in Addison (Vt.)," Bodette said. "We used to do summer cook outs all the time at the lake. Everyone loved them,. they we big affairs.
"People have fun at barbecues," he added. "That's our intent, to have fun."
The new business is the result of the Champlain Bridge closure.
The Champlain Bridge in Crown Point linked New York and Vermont. It was closed in October 2009 when engineers deemed it unsafe. The bridge, which served about 4,000 vehicles a day, has been replaced by a ferry while a new structure is being built. The new span is scheduled to open this October.
That closure had a major negative impact on business at Frenchman's Restaurant, Bodette said. The Bodettes have owned the eatery the last seven years.
"We have to make up lost revenue since the bridge closed," he said.
Taking advantage of the state bridge assistance program, a fund set up to help local businesses hut by the bridge closure, the Bodettes received a loan that allowed them to purchase the smoker and start-up equipment for Crown Point Barbecue Catering Co.
"The people at the Essex County IDA (Industrial Development Agency) and the (state) Small Business Administration in Plattsburgh were a big help," Bodette said.