April 16, 2012
By Robert Wilonsky
Google the phrase "Greenville Avenue Bowling Alley," and you get this -- some large-scale conceptual renderings of what Madison Partners' Susan Reese had planned for the property formerly known as Lucky's Roadhouse next door to Good Records. But the City Plan Commission and city council gutter-balled that idea last fall, in large part due to neighborhood associations' concerns about noise and traffic. They want daylight-hours retail on that stretch of street, not another eat-n-drinkery, which they insisted was merely masquerading as a boutique bowling alley. Reese and her reps vehemently disagreed, and in the end, Mayor Mike Rawlings suggested they roll their proposal to the West End or downtown.
Or ... how about The Shops at Park Lane, across N. Central Expressway from NorthPark Center?
This isn't the Lower Greenville concept; different people altogether -- Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz, the SMU grads featured here (that's Noonan on the left). But the "upscale, boutique bowling alley" about which we received word over the weekend will be a whole 4.4 miles north on Greenville from the once-contested site. The release says, and The Shops at Park Lane confirms, it will be housed in a 15,000-square-foot space, feature 15 lanes and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant space.
Its name: Bowl & Barrel. Which sounds like a place you'd go when you don't necessarily need, say, crates. But per the press release, the second half of the moniker refers to the fact the twosome plan on serving "craft beers, independently produce[d] wines and hand-crafted cocktails." Says Noonan during an interview this morning, "Our food menu will be beer-centric, and we're going to bring in a lot of barrel-aged beer and pour directly from the cask."
Michelle Davis, director of marketing for The Shops at Park Lane, confirms the venture. She says, "The lease will be executed today," and that Bowl & Barrel will be taking over the space directly across from Bailey's Prime Plus. Davis says, "Our hope is they open earlier fall"; Noonan, formerly of Pappas Restaurants, says that means September, or thereabouts. "As soon as we get permits," he says, which should be in about 60 to 90 days. Which seems like a quick build-out ...
"It's a white box, so there's not a lot of to do," he says. "We're using all brand-new AMF bowling equipment, and they come in and lay down a lane a day. But we're 100 percent ready to go. The money's in place. I know a lot of groups have been trying to do bowling in Dallas" -- like, say, Deep Ellum -- "and don't have real estate or the money, one of the two." Fact is, he says, outside 300 and Splitsville in the suburbs, and Don Carter's All Star Lanes on Composite and a few other old-school lanes, "there's nowhere to bowl in the city of Dallas -- and very few places for a sophisticated, upscale working professional to have active entertainment. But we're gonna be a bowling alley first. That's going to be our core business."