East Hampton Bowl owner Craig Patterson said on Friday that although business was good, it was not enough to pay the bills. He said the bowling alley will close at the end of the month.
“Customers are coming in, business is up right now, but the cost of operation is through the roof,” he said. “It makes no sense to try and stay open. It’s sad, I’ve tried very hard to keep this as a bowling center and keep it operating, but there’s been a lot of resistance.”
According to Mr. Patterson, over the years a lot of people have told him they’d rather see the building used for another type of business or that the building shouldn’t even be there.
He said he is currently looking for a buyer, but wouldn’t disclose how much he plans on selling the building for.
“If someone else wants to reopen [a bowling alley] that’s their choice—Pat and I are done,” he said, adding that getting another bowling alley to open up behind his is a “fervent desire” of his.
Bowling costs $55 an hour, and typically averages out to $10 to $15 per person in a group of six, according to Mr. Patterson.
When he heard news that East Hampton High School may no longer have a team because of the closing, he said he tried to keep the alley open as long as he could for them.
“That’s a heartbreaker,” he said. “They had a lot to do with us holding off, but sadly that will not support the place.”
East Hampton Bowl on Montauk Highway in East Hampton Village will close its doors on Thursday, June 27, according to Shannon Wethy, who has worked at the alley for nearly one year.
“Financially, there’s not enough business in the winter,” Ms. Wethy said. “Even if we do well in the summer, it’s not enough.”
Craig Patterson, who owns East Hampton Bowl with his wife, Pat, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Since 1959, the bowling alley has attracted nearly every demographic, from parents in bowling leagues and teenagers on dates to students practicing for their bowling tournament. Several bowling leagues use the alley as their home base, including the East Hampton High School bowling team.
Joseph Vasile-Cozzo, the high school’s athletic director, said his bowling coach, Pat Hand, received an email from East Hampton Bowl on Wednesday stating that it would be closing on June 27.
“Unfortunately I can’t run the program without a bowling alley—I can’t have our varsity bowling team compete,” said Joseph Vasile-Cozzo, the athletic director at East Hampton High School. “Bowling is a lifetime activity. This will big loss for the kids who love the sport and the community as a whole. My hands are tied, it’s a tough time for everybody.”
Mr. Vasile-Cozzo said the team, which has 14 to 16 players, has done well over the years and has gone to Suffolk County playoffs. He said he plans on alerting students and their parents after student testing is over.
The Pattersons have owned the alley for 36 years and recently revamped the inside of the building with neon lights, new pins and a sound system for “Cosmic Bowling,” a game where bowlers play under black lights.
Once East Hampton Bowl closes, the closest bowling alley will be The All-Star in Riverhead, which opened last summer.
A Facebook group “Goodbye to the East Hampton Bowl,” is online, stating that there will be a “Goodbye” karaoke and dance party at the alley on June 22, at 9 p.m.