TURLOCK — Some of Turlock's long-brewing recreational projects and night life changes have had new developments in the past month.
Proposed bocce ball courts in a city park and the development of a bowling alley, projects that have garnered considerable public interest in the past, were back on the agenda at city commissions in the past month.
Meanwhile, work on two commercial night-life expansions, a bar and outdoor patio for the Turlock Poker Room and a new location for the Red Brick Cafe, are moving forward.
The bocce ball courts were on the agenda at the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Commission meeting in February.
Community concern last summer nixed plans to put two courts, donated by the Rotary Club of Turlock, in Crane Park. The courts were back on the agenda to discuss an alternate location. Rotary Club representatives suggested three new possible sites: Dale Pinkney Park, Bristol Park and Curt Andre Park.
Crane Park also remains on the list of prospective sites, but commission member Barney Gordon said he believes it should be dropped because of noise, traffic and overuse issues raised by neighbors at a public forum in July.
Gordon said the commission could hold another public forum once another site is determined. After that, construction of the courts could move forward.
The courts will be back on the agenda at the commission's Wednesday meeting, with further discussion on a proposed location.
Last month, the Turlock Planning Commission had the proposed bowling alley, which has been in the making since 2010, back on its agenda. But it wasn't to move forward with the proposed Ten Pin Fun Center, but to allow a Prime Shine Car Wash on an outlying portion of the complex.
The commission approved plans to allow the car wash to break ground at Monte Vista and Crowell avenues, near California State University, Stanislaus. When it was approved by the commission in November 2010, the proposed 34-lane bowling and entertainment center had to be built first on the property before any other developments could go forward.
But because of the long delay, commissioners approved the car wash ahead of the bowling alley. Planning Commission member Soraya Fregosi said funding continues to be the holdup for the center's developers. Even if funding were to emerge today, they said completion of construction would take at least two to 2½ years.
"It's very unfortunate," Fregosi said. "We were told the funding was in place when we approved it. The whole parcel was rezoned for recreation. The support of the community is absolutely there, so we're all waiting to see if the financing comes through."
Prime Shine said it is ready to begin construction on the car wash as soon as its final permits and paperwork are approved.
Also moving ahead is the expansion of the Turlock Poker Room. Work has begun to create a full bar and patio at the 2321 W. Main St. location, manager Mario Alvarez said.
The expansion required the relocation of Happy Feet Massage to another site in the complex, which has been completed.
The plans include a 1,320-square-foot bar, 320-square-foot fenced patio, additional restrooms and a high-roller poker room. The bar should be up and running by June.
That is the same time frame for the relocation of another Turlock nightspot, the Red Brick Cafe in downtown Turlock. The restaurant and bar will move from 153 S. Broadway less than a block away to Broadway and Main Street.
Red Brick Cafe, which is run by On Broadway with Two Guys catering, will drop its catering and large banquet functions and expand its restaurant and nightclub space.
Event coordinator Benita Oshana said it will open an additional day, adding Wednesdays to its Thursday, Friday and Saturday hours. The restaurant, which serves only dinner, will begin offering lunch as well.
"We're really excited about the move," Oshana said. "We'll have a larger restaurant and dance floor."
Work is being done on the new location, with an anticipated move into the space in June.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2284. Follow her on Twitter, @turlocknow.