The local bowling alley is getting a facelift, with more changes planned for the future.
PK Bowl, 103 Main St., has been closed since July 23 to get ready for a grand reopening celebration on Monday. The business did remain open on Thursday evenings to allow league bowlers to practice. During the closure, workers painted the exterior of the building and the bowling ball return racks inside along with other improvements.
Roosevelt Draine of Kansas City, Missouri, bought the bowling center in September and almost immediately began upgrading the facility, the most notable being the replacement of the original wooden lanes from the 1960s with new synthetic wood.
The Parsons Chamber of Commerce had wanted to cohost a grand reopening for the new owner after PK Bowl became a chamber member, but the celebration hadn’t occurred by the time the center had to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PK Bowl eventually reopened for a while, but Rolando Rodriguez, who was hired as the new manager after the pandemic hit, decided to close the business again to make more improvements in preparation for the grand reopening.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work in a short amount of time. We’ve been hustling to try to get everything done on time, trying to do it right without taking any shortcuts,” Rodriguez said.
The grand reopening will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday. PK Bowl will offer free tea and coffee along with one free game per person. Regular business hours will resume on Monday, and the first league will start on Aug. 18.
Before Monday, Rodriguez plans to have a concrete slab poured in front of the building for a new beer garden. Six-foot walls will be constructed not long after the grand reopening, and the beer garden will include tables and cornhole boards, Rodriguez said. The walls will block off what is now the main entrance to the business on the south side of the building as it will become the access point from inside to the beer garden. Customers will use an entrance on the east side of the building and another south entrance that now leads to the locker room. Lockers will be relocated, and Rodriguez said that space will be used as a pro shop or a small video game arcade.
A small section of the service counter near the beer garden will be converted into a fully functional bar with a liquor cabinet, beer taps and TVs.
PK Bowl still will remain family friendly, though, and the business has been working toward making it more appealing to youth. A fog machine and laser lights have been added for cosmic bowling, and Rodriguez said the black light experience has been extended more into the seating area.
The wood from the original lanes will be repurposed as the top for a new bar behind the bowling area, with ball racks on one side and seating on the other. Rodriguez said new seating also will be added close to the ball return area as most bowling centers have. At some point, seating was removed from that area under former ownership.
Eventually, Rodriguez said, the bowling alley will be transformed from a bowling center into more of a family fun center. Draine is working on funding now for a new building east of the bowling alley that would include indoor batting cages, a party room and restrooms. Rodriguez said he hopes to make the batting cage facility accessible by pass code 24 hours a day so area baseball and softball teams could use it when needed. He also wants to include some pitching mounds for indoor pitching practice. The new building also likely would have video games.
Space will be left between the new and existing buildings for a possible future addition that would allow for a couple of more bowling lanes, Rodriguez said, and it’s possible that miniature golf could be added on the south side of the bowling alley.