Two Tuscaloosa Bowling Alleys to Close as Opening of Bowlero Nears
Tuscaloosa's two existing bowling alleys, AMF Bama Lanes and Leland Lanes, will both shut down in the next few months, 95.3 The Bear confirmed Tuesday.
The closure of the AMF Bama Lanes may come as no surprise -- the alley's long-term future has been uncertain since the shopping center it calls home was purchased by Vestavia's Capital Growth Buchalter in 2013, and the AMF brand is owned by the Bowlero Corp., the same company set to open a brand new facility on McFarland Boulevard next month.
Chris Felts, the general manager at AMF Bama Lanes, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that their plan is to relocate their entire staff to Bowlero when it opens late next month. He said he did not know when the alley on 15th Street will close for the last time.
The closure of Leland Lanes in Alberta City, though, is a bigger shock. Trish Hannah, the bowling alley's manager, said on Facebook Monday that Leland Lanes would be permanently closing on May 25th.
Tuscaloosa City Councilman Kip Tyner, who represents Alberta City and the McFarland Boulevard location where Bowlero will open next month, said he was stunned to find out Leland Lanes was set to close down.
Tyner said he was immediately concerned about players who may not find themselves suited for Bowlero's self-described "hipster" atmosphere who will soon find themselves with nowhere else to bowl.
"I was very surprised to hear the news, especially in light of the fact that Bama Lanes is closing, too," Tyner said. "I think there's going to be a total void for league play, which is very healthy in and around Tuscaloosa."
Tyner said it is his hope that someone will recognize the potential for profit and purchase Leland Lanes, renovate it and reopen in the same space.