Chicago Bowl frames development plan

Archideas design for Chicago Bowl, 1834-50 W. Chicago.

Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro provided this description of a bowling alley under development on the northeast corner of Chicago and Wolcott. Links have been added to provide context. The developers will ask the East Village Association for a vote Nov. 1 on its application for a Chicago live-performance license. Read a previous report and comments on the plan.

Located in a 23,000-square-foot warehouse at 1850 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago Bowl will be a state-of-the-art bowling alley / restaurant / performance space.

The heart of the Chicago Bowl project is the restoration and refurbishment of a dilapidated former auto parts warehouse, that has 200 feet of frontage on Chicago Avenue.

The building’s construction and design will seek to achieve LEED green certification and will highlight the building’s natural history, rehabilitating the beautiful aesthetic of this 80-year-old industrial warehouses. Led by architect Scott Hindsley of Chicago-based architectural firm Archideas, a team of local contractors and craftsman will transform a building that currently is empty and has minimal electricity, plumbing, and infrastructure into one of the city’s most exciting spaces. From restoring the original all-wood bow-truss beams to adding new
wide-plank wood floors, the venue will be a powerful combination of old and new.

Chicago Bowl will be a sister venue to Brooklyn Bowl, which opened in July 2009 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Brooklyn Bowl has been ranked by Zagat as the #1 bowling alley in New York City and the #1 venue of any kind in the borough of Brooklyn.
Like Brooklyn Bowl, Chicago Bowl will feature a kitchen and menu designed and overseen by the award-winning Blue Ribbon Restaurants group. Filled with comfort food classics all priced under $20, the food blog Serious Eats says, “As a standalone restaurant, the Bowl’s menu would be totally in the pocket.”

Brooklyn Bowl has hosted a wide range of events and fund-raisers and has been a resource in NYC for a wide rage of civic individuals and organizations, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Martha Stewart, the Clinton Foundation to the Brooklyn Public Library,
Conde Nast to the NYC Public Schools and Bike For A Cure to name a few. Chicago Bowl will continue this tradition and will work with local schools, community centers and Commercial Park to maintain a leadership role in the community.

Chicago Bowl will be open seven days a week. On weekends, hours will be from noon-3am. From noon-6pm, families with children of all ages will be permitted in. Specials will be available for families that live in the East Village geographic district. On weekdays, Chicago Bowl will open from 6pm-2am and will have a 21+ door policy. The 21+ door policy is an effective way to maintain a clientele that is mature, responsible and considerate of Chicago Bowl’s neighbors.

Unlike typical bars and venues, Chicago Bowl’s multifunctionality will minimize mass exiting and entry to and from the venue at one time. Because some people will bowl while others eat in the restaurant and still others sit at the bar or watch the various projection screens it will be rare for people to exit the venue at one time, reducing pressure on the immediate street.

To ensure that any sounds created inside Chicago Bowl stay inside Chicago Bowl, Richard Talaske has been hired to consult on sound and acoustical issues. A plan has already been created to put a new, second roof on top of the building’s original roof,
eliminating sound leakage.

Chicago Bowl is being developed and run by an experienced management team who has owned and operated multiple celebrated and respected establishments. The team also has been involved with notable ventures in the intersection of cutting-edge technology and entertainment, an element that will be a focal point at Chicago Bowl. Each member of the management / ownership team has direct roots in Chicago. More than 100 employees will be hired with an emphasis to hire from within the East Village and local community.

Chicago Bowl does not require any zoning changes or variances and will have its own dedicated parking lot on-site, meeting the city’s required amount of parking spots. Additional parking (by valet) will also be made be available in Alcala's dedicated parking lot one block east. The architectural team will place an emphasis on making sure that the exterior of the building adds a pleasing visual look to the streetscape on Chicago Avenue.

Chicago Bowl is seeking a Public Place of Amusement license, as the City of Chicago requires that all bowling alleys have a PPA license. Chicago Bowl also will seek an incidental liquor license.
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