Grand Rapids Bowling Alleys From the Past to the Present – Remember These?
If you grew up in Grand Rapids, or at least have lived here for much of your life, chances are you went bowling. Maybe is was just a social thing, bowling on a date, with friends, but not regularly. Then again, maybe you were is a league and were at your favorite alley almost every week.
Bowling is still popular, but many of the old places are long gone. They literally were a home away from home.
Do you remember these?
Chez Ami Lanes – 5401 Division Ave South; opened first as a night club by Anthony Scalici in 1949, taking over the Club Villa that had been on that spot since 1938, the Chez added a 16-lane bowling alley featuring semi-auto pin-setting equipment. The night club became controversial in later years while being run by Paolo Scalici, who had an ongoing feud with the City government over safety and entertainment issues, and he decided to close the complex in June 2004.
Chase Lanes bowling alley on Michigan NE was owned by Phil and his twin brother Lou Chase. Chase Lanes, later known as Michigan Lanes, is gone but this building is still standing which was home to Chase Home Improvement built well before the bowling ally behind it.
The Comet was good bowling and good good. It was a great neighborhood spot on 28th street just two or three blocks east of Division. They had many leagues, the Howling Moon bar was there with line dances and it was the place to go in it's day. Now is the Little Saigon Plaza.
The Fanatorium Bowling Center was originally on the SW corner of Sheldon & Library, but moved to this location on Jefferson. In it's day the Fan, as people called it, had bowling alleys, a barber shop, billiards, card room, probably in the old days, cigars and lunches.
Northfield Lanes has been a bowling fixture on Plainfield Avenue, NE for years and is still going strong. Northfield was once owned by Women's World Champion bowler, Marion Ladewig, who was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. The price is always right at Northfield.
Wengers, the unique bi-level 16-lane bowling center is also still going strong. Located in the West Grand neighborhood at 629 Leonard Street NW is a 16-lane, grungy epicenter for Westsiders and hipsters alike. Featuring dollar-bowl/dollar-beer on various nights. Along with The Clique, Wenger's is one of at least two two-story bowling alleys in Grand Rapid's near westside.
Clique Bowling Center is a retro bowling center of West Michigan. With their unique 2-floor layout, just as Wengers is, it's not only a fun place to bowl, but a place to hand some great food and drink.
As you can see, some of the favorite bowling centers of yesterday have come and gone, but many have survived and still flourish today such as Eastbrook Lanes, Fairfield Lanes, Westgate, Paragon Lanes, and many more.
Roll a strike!