Indoor mini-golf planned for former Chuck E. Cheese in Arlington Heights

The owner of Arlington Lanes bowling alley plans to turn the neighboring Chuck E. Cheese space in Arlington Heights into an 18-hole indoor miniature golf course.

Mark Giannecchini, who runs the bowling alley at 3435 N. Kennicott Ave., has a contract to purchase the one-story, 8,400-square-foot former children's arcade and pizza place in hopes of returning family-friendly entertainment to the vacant Dundee Road site.

Chuck E. Cheese left the location in 2015 to open a larger restaurant in the Annex of Arlington shopping center at Rand and Arlington Heights roads.

Plans for the proposed M&M Mini Golf at 955 W. Dundee Road call for a course with glow-in-the-dark capability and handicapped accessibility that can be divided into nine holes each and accommodate two kids' birthday parties at a time. There also will be coin-operated arcade games and a snack shop.

"The operator has done a great job of operating that (bowling alley) facility for many years," said Trustee John Scaletta, who was among the village board members to vote unanimously Tuesday night to grant a special use permit for the new mini-golf course. "I'm happy he will be reinvesting in this building, but it says an awful lot that he believes in it so much that he's buying the property, not just signing a lease for a few years. I have no doubt he's going to make it work."

Besides interior upgrades, crews will be fixing up the building trim and painting the outside, and adding landscaped islands at the end of parking lot rows.

Village officials suggested a cross-access driveway be installed to connect the mini-golf building to Arlington Lanes, but it's still conceptual because of the owners' concerns over costs.

While the mini-golf venue would cater to children's birthday parties - up to 16 kids per party - the facility will also be open to the general public, project attorney John Clery said.

Unlike the bowling alley, though, there aren't plans for liquor service for adults, he added.

"It's very family-oriented mini-golf," Clery said.

When it opens, hours are planned from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Construction is estimated to take 9 to 12 months.

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