Bowling alley pins success to live music

Board meeting minutes for Sept. 14, 2010 submitted by Dana Palmer

Attendance: Board Members Greg Nagel, Neal McKnight, Dana Palmer, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Aaron Bilton and Tom Tomek; Non-Board Members: Rich Anselmo, Carol Mrowka, Kenan Obaid, Jason Maras and Pete Shapiro (with his two business partners). Meeting commenced: 6:29 p.m.

Chicago Bowl

Pete Shapiro presented plans to open a bowling alley at 1850 W. Chicago Ave. Shapiro currently has a successful bowling alley in Brooklyn, New York, that offers food from Blue Ribbon Restaurants and live performances. The current property is 23,000 square feet, the same size as the Brooklyn bowling alley. His plans are to mimic the Brooklyn space with 16 lanes of bowling and a restaurant with an area for live performances.

Shapiro plans to tear down the red brick building to the side of the main property for on-site parking, and is working with Alcala's for additional parking at night. Shapiro is planning LEED certification for the main building, adding a second roof as a sound barrier.

Questions were raised by the group about curb cuts and the appeal of this to the neighborhood. Shapiro went on to explain that he does not plan any sidewalk use, is opting for an incidental liquor license that allows service until 2 a.m. weekdays and 3 a.m. weekends.

Chicago Bowl would employ about 100 new employees from the neighborhood and surrounding area, and serve only local beers. Hours of operation would be 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. until 3 a.m. on weekends. The facility would be 21 and older after 6 p.m. and would have a door fee and no arcade or pool, in order to deter a younger crowd in the evenings. Shapiro stated that he needs a Public Place of Amusement license for the bowling alley and asks the group to support the license.

Polish Triangle

The board discussed ways of having a food or coffee vendor placed in the Triangle to improve the area. Scott Rappe will discuss this request with Ald. Joe Moreno.

Dog waste cleanup

This issue was raised by resident Andre Kinaci at the last membership meeting. Ideas on how to alleviate dog nuisance were raised, such as posting signs from the Streets and Sanitation department, making signs to place in parkways and having waste bag dispensers throughout the neighborhood.

Scott Rappe agreed to speak with the alderman about obtaining waste bag dispensers. Dana Palmer agreed to make signs to post throughout the neighborhood and Greg Nagel agreed to a $50 budget for the signs.

Augusta parking meters

Arguments were made that meters placed on Augusta from Winchester to Wolcott are unnecessary, and is reducing available parking on the Wolcott block where there is no zoned parking or permit parking. Scott Rappe agreed to discuss this issue with the alderman.

Summer barbecue

Greg Nagel reported that he obtained $200 in Dominick's gift cards.

October membership meeting

Daniel Sirko with Birchwood Kitchen, 2211 W. North Ave., has agreed to do the business minute. Nicole Aquino with Lasalle II has agreed to be the guest speaker. Greg Nagel will be absent for this meeting and Neal McKnight has agreed to lead.

November membership meeting

Greg Nagel stated that he would e-mail Dan Nehm about being a guest speaker regarding energy-efficient windows. Rich Anselmo agreed to contact Bend yoga studio about possibly doing the business minute.

Treasurer report

Greg Nagel received an e-mail from treasurer Nicole Semple. She was able to fill out paperwork for a forwarding address; all funds were deposited in the bank and the new address was given to the bank.

Meeting adjourned: 7:55 p.m. Next membership meeting: October 4, 2010.


  1. The bowling alley is GREAT news -- that building has been vacant too long and, judging by the site for the Brooklyn location, it would be a perfect addition to the neighborhood.

    As a related question, I noticed on LoopNet that the vacant and dilapidated Bella's Pizza construction site at 1952 W Chicago is under contract. Any idea what the plans are there?

  2. It sounds like a great use for the building and a positive for the area. BUT, I really don't like the idea of tearing down a building for a parking lot on Chicago Ave. We simply shouldn't have any more parking lots facing major urban streets. IF a business needs lots of surface parking, it probably shouldn't be located in a dense urban area. It destroys the fabric of the neighborhood and is anti-urban.

    There has to be a better solution. Think about how crummy those surface lots look by the McDonalds and Taco Bell at Addison and Clark, or the Walgreens on Chicago west of Western. Think about Western Ave in general. Those lots are anti-urban and anti-pedestrian and shouldn't be permitted in Berwyn, much less East Village.

  3. TheLetterAHyphen... -- I agree in concept, but I think it's a little lofty to worry about that as it applies to this project in this neighborhood. It's a huge bowling alley replacing an empty warehouse, on a street with a LOT of empty storefronts. I'd rather let them have their parking and establish an anchor for the neighborhood (and hopefully fill up some of those empty storefronts) even if the parking lot might be less than ideal.

  4. I agree with you MVD. Very exciting to have this entertainment venue moving in to this part of town. I've been watching Brooklyn Bowl for a while because I work for an upscale bowling alley, but not as upscale as BB. So bring it!


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