BROOKVILLE — Second Strike Lanes has seen a tumultuous year, changing ownership, and now facing possible permanent closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owner Chris Morris said he’s facing the difficult decision of trying to make back some money through food sales, or having to close the doors of his new business permanently.
“Basically, in a month’s time, I might have to lock the place up for good. And the point is, it really stinks to think that something I’ve worked so hard for, the improvements we made, the money I put in here could essentially go away at no fault of my own. There was nothing I could do to prepare myself for a pandemic,” Morris said.
Morris was received well by regulars who bowl in leagues, and had been working on improvements both cosmetically and mechanically for the lanes. He said people in the community were just starting to come check out the “new” bowling alley when he was forced to close in March. Before that, he said business was doing really well.
He lost the end of his busy season, through the cold and wet spring months, and had to end leagues prematurely. Knowing the summer months are slow for the bowling alley, he had enough money saved to make it through three months. That money is now gone for the three months of closure he’s gone through.
“Everything that’s kept this place going for the last nine weeks is my saving account,” Morris said. “I feel like I’m probably in a little better shape than other small businesses that maybe didn’t have the challenge of making it three months with no pay.”
He was also unable to apply for any assistance because of the recent purchase of the bowling alley. Morris explained that on the forms he was filling out for help, he would get to a point where he would need tax information, and he doesn’t have that yet for the business.
This has put a complete halt to any further improvements to the lanes he had planned. Simply keeping the bills paid is the priority now. He is buying parts that he began negotiations on before the shutdown because he is a man of his word. The parts are coming from Texas, but he could no longer afford the transportation costs, so he will go to Texas for those parts in June.
Something unique about Second Strike Lanes to many other area bowling alleys is the extensive kitchen menu. Morris saw this as an opportunity to open the doors.
Last Friday the kitchen opened for a test run of take-out from the bowling alley menu. Morris said the weekend went great.
“We did well, but even just staying open for that definitely is a good supplement to my savings and the bills,” Morris said.
A favorite of many regulars at the lanes are pizza burgers. The kitchen will remain open for takeout as Morris hopes to start putting money back into the savings for the lanes.