A bowling establishment in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn called "The Gutter" announced on its Facebook page last night that it was forced to close down temporarily after it was discovered that Dr. Craig Spencer, who had returned to New York on Oct. 17 following a stint aiding Ebola patients in the West African nation of Guinea with the Doctors Without Borders organization, developed symptoms consistent with Ebola after having gone bowling there.
Spencer went bowling at The Gutter on Wednesday evening, and began experiencing Ebola symptoms the following morning, including a fever of 100.3. CNN reported this morning that Spencer's fiancée and two friends had since been quarantined, and New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said in a press conference at Bellevue Hospital, where Spencer is being treated, that "There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed" and that the city has been "preparing for months for the threat posed by Ebola." According to a Business Insider story on the scare, that plan had established Bellevue hospital, which has four isolation rooms, "as the go-to place for dealing with the virus."
The Gutter is a vintage-themed bowling lounge opened in 2007 by owners Jon Miller and Paul Kermizian. The establishment was named as New York City's "Best Bowling Lanes" in 2014 by The Village Voice, which reported that Miller and Kermizian flew in eight 1970s-era bowling lanes from Ohio to open The Gutter in Brooklyn. They previously opened a vintage arcade and bar serving microbrewery beers called Barcade, also in the Williamsburg area.
The Gutter's announcement of the closure last night called it "simply a precautionary measure" and said further that the establishment was "in constant contact with the health department and they have determined that there was no risk to our customers."
A follow-up announcement this morning characterized last night's closure as "voluntary" and expressed an intent to reopen later today after "working with the NYC Health Department to have the bar cleaned and sanitized under their supervision."
Last night's closure of The Gutter forced the cancellation of the "CMJ Showcase" concert that was to be held there in conjunction with a record label called Goodnight Records. Eight bands were scheduled to perform. A separate CMJ music show scheduled for The Gutter tonight also has been cancelled.
UPDATE: The New York Post is reporting that Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, has declared The Gutter "safe" after the business was thoroughly sanitized under the supervision of health department officials. Adams himself bowled at the facility to make the point that it is a perfectly safe, Ebola-free environment. He may need to to read up on our Clinic section in the next issue of Bowlers Journal, however, as the Post reported that Adams knocked down a total of five pins in the two frames he bowled, including two gutter balls. You can read the full story here.