Days after the Patterson Bowling Center abruptly closed, the circumstances surrounding the closure of the building and the future of the alley are still uncertain.
A teary employee from the center told a party that had arrived for a birthday on Dec. 3 that the bowling center was permanently closing that day. Ken Staub, who has owned the alley since 2016, told The Baltimore Banner the ongoing sale of the building led him to close the business, citing he couldn’t keep taking on reservations, especially around the holidays.
Now, he says the potential buyers may be open to keeping the bowling center on the first floor. A zoning board application from September of this year shows plans to change the building at 2105 Eastern Avenue into multi-family housing with 15 units and adding a third floor. The first floor of the building, which has been on the market at $750,000 at least since last year, would remain for commercial use, according to the zoning application.
Attempts to the reach the applicants were not successful. Hunter Piel, the registered agent and attorney for the corporation, declined to comment. Kevin Stander, the owner of the building who has put it up for sale, did not return requests for comment.
There are no promises yet, Staub said. But he said he expects to hear back from the potential buyers in the next couple of days. Zeke Cohen, the city councilmember for the district, has reached out to Staub, he said, and his office has offered help.
“The Patterson Bowling Center is a beloved, historic community asset,” Cohen said. “We would like to see them stay in Southeast Baltimore and are exploring options to find out if that is possible.”
But Monday early afternoon, Christopher Roth, president of Duckpin Bowling Proprietors Association, sent out an email to members saying Staub was selling at least 8 full machines, synthetic lane panels, ball returns and other parts of the equipment.
“Time is of the essence,” the email read. “The equipment needs to be ‘rehomed’ quickly.”
The former owner of the bowling center and the building, Charles McElhose, asked Staub to take over the alley in 2016, Staub said. McElhose, who died on October of this year due to complications of ALS, sold the building to 2105 Eastern Avenue LLC in November of 2016.