Suburban Lanes bowling alley campaigns to stay in Suburban Plaza
By Dena Mellick, contributor
Suburban Lanes Bowling Alley has created a petition to campaign to stay in Suburban Plaza. Selig Enterprises, the developer of Suburban Plaza, says it cannot keep the bowling alley at the shopping center.
At a Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association meeting on January 27, Bill Stogner, a senior vice president with Selig said, “Unfortunately, we’re not able to keep the bowling alley. We tried to keep it. We worked really hard to do that, but it was just – financially it was overwhelming for both of us – for him and for us.”
Stogner said the bowling alley would remain through the end of April, “basically staying rent free,” but plans for a book store on that side of the building were under way.
Trisha Walker, one of the owners, posted a petition on Change.org, is asking for people in the community to voice their opinions about Suburban Lanes closing. It says, “We are hopeful that if enough voices are heard, a buyer of the bowling center will come forward.”
Decaturish has been in touch with owner Thomas Walker over email. He confirmed that he and his wife were aware that the lease had been terminated, and they have been searching for buyers for Suburban Lanes.
This week, Walker left a comment on the original story, saying, “There is still time. If you would like to see Suburban Lanes stay, please voice your opinion. I am not sure it will change their decision but we would appreciate your support. It would be great to see a commitment that was made to YOU kept!”
Walker said that during early conversations, Selig Enterprises assured him and his wife that the bowling alley would be able to stay.
On its Facebook page, Suburban Lanes posted the petition and asked customers to share their favorite memory of Suburban Lanes.
Paul Carpenter said, “I was about 7 years old (44 years ago) and I had to use both hands to get the ball rolling which meant delivering it from between my legs. As I squatted down one time, my pants split. There was much laughter at my expense. I changed my delivery style after that.”
Hellen Oller posted, “Going to Suburban Lanes with both my kids for the first time, to a birthday party. Seeing bumper lanes blowing up and the delight when they knocked those pins down. Having them demand to go back for their own birthday parties. Going with scouts. Suburban Lanes brought business to the area. We would shop in the area after or before we bowled.”
Supporters of the bowling alley have also left comments on the petition page, saying that losing Suburban Lanes would be a big loss for the city.