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Bowlmor Lanes closes

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiBarry Williams for New York Daily News The third-floor lanes at Bowlmor in Union Square are already in the process of being dismantled on Monday.



It’s worse than a 7-10 split.


Bowlmor Lanes, New York’s oldest bowling center, closed for good Monday night — ending a 76-year run that included countless birthday parties and dates, plenty of “Disco Bowling” and even celebrities such as Will Smith and former president Richard Nixon.


On Monday, everyday Earl Anthonys flocked to the University Place center to mourn the loss.


“I’ve been on dates here, I’ve hosted parties here,” said Christine Biela, a graduate student at nearby New York University. “I had to come one last time.”


Two newer Bowlmor centers remain in the city — one in Times Square, the other at Chelsea Piers — as part of a larger chain of a dozen lanes. But owner Thomas Shannon said the Greenwich Village landmark was “the heart and soul of our company.”


“This is the one that started it all. You can’t replace it,” added Shannon, who had bought the aging business in 1997 and revived it for a new generation by improving the food, drinks and music — though prices also rose considerably.


“This really is the only bowling alley I come to. It’s a total loss,” said Kit Xu, 26, of Brooklyn as she bowled with a friend. “The food is so good here. It’s a shame it’s closing.”


Employees said they would miss the spot and the regulars — including some whole families.


“I love this place,” said Andres Restrepo, the Bowlmor district manager. “We’ve had families with four generations of bowlers coming here to hang out on a Sunday. Grandpa tells about times when Union Square wasn’t the safest time, then his son talks about the 1980s.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiBarry Williams for New York Daily News The bowling alley is closing Monday night after opening 1938, and the building will reportedly be turned into condos.


Indeed, in the bad old days, a manager was once murdered in the alley. But more recently, the lanes have been a glamorous haunt for A-listers such as the Strokes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Fallon and Al Pacino.


The lanes, between 12th and 13th Sts., opened in 1938 during one of bowling’s periodic golden ages. In Greenwich Village today, the gold is in luxury housing — which is what the building, owned by real estate scion Billy Macklowe, will reportedly become.

A manager, Anthony Sorrentino, was once killed inside Bowlmor Lanes.


A manager, Anthony Sorrentino, was once killed inside Bowlmor Lanes.

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Waitresses Naomi Ramirez (left) and Elissa Ramirez (not related) wait to serve customers on the last night of business at Bowlmor. Barry Williams for New York Daily News


Waitresses Naomi Ramirez (left) and Elissa Ramirez (not related) wait to serve customers on the last night of business at Bowlmor.

Enlarge


“It’s a sad day,” concluded manager Chloe Leverone, who has worked at Bowlmor for seven years. “We have so many people from the neighborhood that come here every week. They can’t believe it’s closing.”


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