Plans are in the pipeline to bring bowling back to Turlock, complete with restaurant, sports bar and laser tag.
Developer Rod Scott has applied for city permits to construct Ten Pin Fun Center, a 52,000-square-foot family entertainment center at 3700 Countryside Drive, across from Lowe’s.
Scott was also part of the 2010 effort to build a similar project on Monte Vista Avenue that fizzled in 2014 after four years of delays. That site, across from California State University, Stanislaus, now has The Vista four-story student housing rising on it, expected to open for fall semester 2017.
This time around, Scott said, he expects to build.
“I think he’s positioned himself well. The investors have done a lot of homework,” said Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth, who said he and city staff have met several times with Scott about the new project. “He’s making sure he has his ducks in a row,” Soiseth said.
According to the new application, the center will house – in early numbers – 34 bowling lanes with a separate bar area; a 4,000-square-foot laser tag area; an arcade with 75 games and a prize redemption center; shuffleboard court; and three outdoor bocce ball courts.
It will also have a sports bar and restaurant with seating for 200 diners, billiard tables and an outdoor dining patio. The facility will also have seven banquet/party rooms that can host small birthday parties or larger events.
Scott said the center, planned for 5.2 acres of now vacant land, will team entertainment activities with a nicer restaurant and have a skybox overlooking the action. A metal exterior will speed construction, he said.
A rough timeline assumes the city permitting process will finish in early October, with groundbreaking soon thereafter and construction expected to take six to seven months.
“We should be open by this time next year,” Scott said.
The plans raised no early red flags, said city Engineer Mike Pitcock and Debbie Whitmore, deputy director of development services and planning. “It’s looking good. There’s plenty of parking,” Whitmore said.
“It’s in a very good location for traffic,” Pitcock said. The plans will require a conditional use permit from the Turlock Planning Commission, possibly Oct. 6, after clearing agency and environmental reviews.
“After two decades, it’s exciting to think about bowling coming back as well as all the other things he’s planning,” Soiseth said. “There’s something for kids, to students at Stan State, to the elderly even to enjoy in this thing.”
Turlock’s last bowling alley closed in 1997. It was built in 1962 by Jack Divinian as part of the Divine Gardens motel and restaurant complex. It became The Gardens when he sold the property in 1979.