New bowling concept opening Tuesday in Buffalo Grove
A new chapter in the history of bowling in Buffalo Grove's Town Center is about to commence.
The bowling alley once known as eSkape and then as Brunswick Zone is rebranding itself as Bowlero. Located at 350 McHenry Road, Bowlero will offer 32 lanes of bowling, a high-end sports bar and dining area, an interactive arcade and a state-of-the-art laser tag arena.
The venue is operated by Bowlmor AMF, which was created in 2013 and acquired Brunswick's bowling center business in 2014. Brunswick Zone was one of Brunswick's brands.
Justin Hake, regional vice president of operations for Bowlmor AMF, said the decision to rebrand was made about six months ago.
"The issue that we were facing was the Brunswick's name was really only on three centers nationally," he said. "It just made sense to put them underneath the Bowlero brand, where they fit in a little bit better."
Hake said Bowlero has an "experience-based concept of bowling" and emphasizes a "hipster, retro, vintage kind of vibe."
The number of lanes remains the same, but the audiovisual system is updated, with large screens over all of the lanes and an audio feel that delivers sound that surrounds the patrons.
Hake said the biggest change was replacing the old tavern space, which had the feel of a sit-down restaurant.
"We have made the space a lot more interactive, where people can move around and do a lot of different things," Hake said, adding that a 50-seat outdoor patio will be part of the new space.
"We want to really start to ramp up our use of that as we get into the summer," he said.
Hake said he would like to see Bowlero act as an anchor for the Town Center, drawing more attention to the surrounding shopping space and "hopefully help not just ourselves, but the rest of the businesses."
In addition to Buffalo Grove, Bowlero also has a location in Naperville and plans to open in Algonquin and Romeoville.