City Officials Seek Developer for ‘Bowling Alley’

by Bob Johnson 0

The normal “way of the world” is for a business person to approach a city’s leaders about opening a bowling center. There typically are forms to fill out, fees to be paid, requirements to be met and, in general, hoops to be jumped through.

But such is not the case in Evanston, an Illinois community north of Chicago that’s best known as the home of Northwestern University. There, civic leaders are seeking a qualified individual/operator to transform the city’s former recycling center into a “destination-oriented use.”

They envision dining and entertainment options, and Alderwoman Ann Rainey has stated publicly that she hopes the entertainment option turns out to be bowling.

The size of the facility — 13,500 square feet — would limit the number of lanes, so any proposed project would be more likely to resemble a “bowling lounge” than a bowling-based family entertainment center.

“The one thing this town does not have is a bowling alley,” Rainey told the Pioneer Press.

Plans call for the Evanston City Council to review development proposals in September, with an eye toward selecting the development team this fall.

You can read the full Pioneer Press report here:

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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