Irving Park Bowling closes
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
With little notice, Irving Park Bowling Lanes, 5708 W. Irving Park Road, closed for business on Aug. 24, shortly before the start of league season.
Alderman Timothy Cullerton (38th) said that his office has been receiving phone calls from people who wanted to get their bowling equipment out of the lockers. Cullerton said that he spoke to the owner of the property, Stanislaw Szymanski, and arrangements were made for bowlers to clean out their lockers.
On Monday, Aug. 26, the doors of the bowling alley were open and people were seen removing their equipment. An employee of the bowling alley said Monday that staff was removing benches and the bar from the site and that the business would not reopen.
Cullerton said that he is unsure about what the owner plans to do with the property. A “closed for remodeling” sign was posted on the building.
Szymanski, who owns Szymanski Deli and Liquors, 6016 W. Irving Park Road, bought the property in 2007 and over the years there was talk that Szymanski would turn the property into a deli, Cullerton said.
“That was his original intention,” Cullerton said. “He bought the property with plans of expanding his store and building a two story building with condominiums. But this was when Tom Allen was alderman and I think the community did not want it. He was trying to sell it I think too, but then the economy tanked.”
Cullerton said that under the site’s B3 zoning, many different uses could go in there.
“I’m still not sure about what he plans to do there but I would imagine that he would lease it out again, but not as a bowling alley,” Cullerton said.
On the Irving Park Bowling Lanes’ Facebook page, residents expressed disbelief and frustration about the closing of the bowling alley. Some residents have said that they bowled there for years and that a new bowling league season was about to begin this week.
The center had 16 bowling lanes and automatic scoring. The business has a public place of amusement, consumption of alcohol on the premises and a retail food establishment license that will expire in October.