Turlock

First look at long-awaited Turlock bowling, sports bar complex

Rendering by JKS Design of the Ten Pin Fun Center proposed for Countryside Drive and expected to open mid-2017. Plans call for bowling, bocce ball, laser tag, arcade, sports bar and restaurant at the site across from Lowe’s in north Turlock.
Rendering by JKS Design of the Ten Pin Fun Center proposed for Countryside Drive and expected to open mid-2017. Plans call for bowling, bocce ball, laser tag, arcade, sports bar and restaurant at the site across from Lowe’s in north Turlock. Rod Scott

“Ten Pin Fun Center has been a long time coming,” developer Rod Scott said in unveiling drawings Monday for a large family entertainment center with bowling alley planned for Countryside Drive north of Monte Vista Avenue.

An earlier center, proposed at another site in 2010, lost its financial backing and never materialized. But times are better now, Scott said via email. “Timing is everything when it pertains to the economy and people’s attitude about investing in projects,” he said.

Turlock folks responded to Friday’s announcement on the Modesto Bee Facebook page with a mix of hope and skepticism. Spencer Wilson wrote this is the third or fourth attempt for a bowling alley since The Gardens lanes shut down, adding, “I hope it’s true this time. Turlock needs a family fun center and this would be perfect.”

“I feel like Charlie Brown and the Turlock City Council is Lucy. I think they’re going to actually follow through, yet they always pull that football away,” posted Aaron Ellenbarger.

So far all signs are go, with positive reaction from city planners, Scott said. “We tried to meet all the conditions of the department prior to submittal, hoping to negate any possible negative impact, so we feel good about the prospects,” he said.

The 52,000 square-foot building is planned on a 5.2-acre plot of vacant land across from Lowe’s, north of the Highway 99 Monte Vista exit.

Plans for the metal-exterior building show visitors will walk past outdoor bocce ball courts as they enter. To their left walking in will be the arcade with redemption area, and behind it a two-story laser tag area. Ahead, to the left, will be 26 Brunswick bowling lanes, with rental desk, pro shop and small bowling bar.

To the right drawings show a snack bar, full service restaurant with sky box overlooking the bocce ball courts, and sports bar with Jumbotron television viewing. At the rear of the facility, behind the kitchen and office area, sit eight boutique bowling lanes.

Party rooms will be in several areas, offering space for kids birthday parties as well as bachelor parties, Scott said adding, “The sky box space is an additional space designed for the adult parties and events.” An elevator by the bar serves the sky box area.

“Our hope is to hit the ground running once the approval is obtained from the full (Planning) Commission,” Scott said, with a tentative hearing date of Oct. 6. Updates will be posted on Facebook, with an opening possible around the time school lets out in 2017.

Turlock bowlers last had hometown lanes in 1997, when The Gardens closed. The longtime motel, restaurant and bowling complex opened in 1962, then called Divine Gardens. Since then various plans and rumors have floated about a replacement.

The earlier Ten Pin Fun Center site stood across from California State University, Stanislaus, where The Vista student housing complex has roughed out the first of its four stories. The Vista is expected to open in time for fall semester 2017.

Nan Austin: 209-578-2339, @NanAustin

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