Council Won't Vote on Greenville Ave. Bowling Alley, Arts District Signage Today

A conceptual rendering of the proposed bowling alley that was to be voted on by city council today
A conceptual rendering of the proposed bowling alley that was to be voted on by city council today

Well, we had planned on following up this afternoon on two items of interest: Developer Craig Hall's plans to fill the Arts District with giant signs attached to his Hall Arts Center, which we told you about Monday, and that much-debated, and that proposed Lower Greenville bowling alley next to Good Records, which the City Plan Commission shot down in July. Alas: Anna happened to be at City Hall this morning, when Mayor Mike Rawlings told those who'd come to speak for and agin both projects that they'd have to come back another day. Both items were being pushed back.

The council hasn't officially voted to defer the items -- that won't happen till 1. But council member Angela Hunt, who's opposed to Hall's zoning change in the Arts District, tells Unfair Park that she's asking both be pushed back because she needs "more time to see if neighborhood leaders and business owners can find common ground."

Susan Reese, whose Madison Partners owns the building where the bowling alley would go, says she's fine with the delay: "Whatever Angela thinks on that is fine with me," she tells Unfair Park this morning. "It's always been our goal to get everybody on board, because it's a great project, and if she wants it delayed, that's fine by me."

Reese insists there's plenty of support from those who live "closest to the project," and says those who oppose the $1.5 million project, which would include a restaurant and lounge overlooking the lanes and be operated by Barcadia's Brooke Humphries, keep insisting it's nothing more than another bar in Lower Greenville when it's anything but.

"The reason we like it so much is because for the new Lower Greenville, they want daytime use, which this can provide," she says. "To me, that's a gateway to Lower Greenville, and it's got to be something unique and something with daytime use and something hipper and more fun than things that have been there in the past. I'm excited, and it's a huge investment, and it's worth it. We've been in Lower Greenville and Deep Ellum for 30 years, and we want something fun, wonderful and appropriate that says, 'Here's the new Lower Greenville.'

"It definitely does have a bar component, but the hardest thing about the space, without a graphic in front of you, it's hard to show people why it's not just a bar. But if you look at ths size of the building and take out what can no longer support foot traffic, there are 3,600 square feet for the restaurant and lounge area. That's all. It's really not a 14,000-square foot bar. It's a building with 5,000 square feet of bowling alley you can't walk on, and restaurant space you can't walk on. We don't want them to think it's a 14,000-square foot bar, because it isn't.

"And you have to keep in mind: It's a boutique bowling alley. No, it's not 24 lanes, there's not going to be league bowling. It's the kind of bowling alley where you look down at the bowling alley from the mezzanine while you have dinner and a beer. And my experience with Brooke and in getting to know her, it'll be the coolest thing in town. She doesn't attract a rowdy crowd. Everyone loves Barcadia. She knows how to run a business."

The question remains: Will the city council let her?

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