Iconic Hoffman Lanes bowling alley closes
Hoffman Estates Lanes, a longtime destination for bowling in the Northwest suburbs, has closed and was already being boarded up Thursday.
"It's unfortunate, because it really is an icon here in Hoffman Estates," village Economic Development Director Kevin Kramer said.
The news comes just as the village board is poised on Monday to consider a Main Event family entertainment center featuring bowling lanes next to the Sears Centre Arena. It would likely open in about a year.
Main Event isn't the reason approximately 50-year-old Hoffman Lanes, at 80 W. Higgins Road, is closing, Kramer said. Conversations with Main Event Entertainment have been going on for about a year, and included talk about how the new establishment might affect nearby bowling alleys.
In those, Hoffman Lanes was never brought up, he said.
"In our minds, there was never a connection," he added.
Kramer pointed out that the new Level 257 restaurant and entertainment center at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg -- which includes bowling lanes -- is much closer to Hoffman Lanes and could have had an effect.
Company officials could not be reached Thursday, but the Hoffman Lanes website encourages customers to visit AMF Forest Lanes in Lyons or the Brunswick Zone locations in either Glendale Heights or Roselle.
Without having spoken to company officials, Kramer could only speculate Thursday that the loss of some big tournaments at Hoffman Lanes may have contributed to the decision to close.
Bowling facilities that have much more than bowling clearly are on the rise, he added. Even if another bowling venue opens at the Hoffman Lanes site, Kramer expects that a future developer will likely adapt the facility to be more creative.
While the village would welcome some kind of entertainment use there, a smaller retailer complemented by a fast-casual restaurant might also find it a good location with great visibility, he added.