The sounds of pins clattering to the wooden floors of a Southside bowling alley will soon be heard for the first time in several years.
Strikehouse Bowl, owned by Robert Dutcher, will hold its grand opening on Friday. The new business is located on Whiskey Road on the corner of Dougherty Road in the same building where Aiken Bowl was once located.
Dutcher, who was at the bowling alley Friday doing some more work, said he's excited to see it all come together. Currently, the building is in a state of “organized chaos” as Dutcher and his crew make a few last minute touches, but the fruits of their labor will be enjoyed by the public starting Friday evening.
Quite a few renovations have been done to the bowling alley. Flat screen televisions hang over the sleek new bowling lanes, new scoring equipment has been installed and new flooring are just a few of the things that have been done to improve the facility.
The bar will have red quartz counters with red-shaded overhead lights and the bottom portion is lined with corrugated metal.
“It's been a lot of hard work,” Dutcher said. “I hope that it's (feedback) going to be good. I tried to keep it as nostalgic as possible.”
Dutcher hopes the business will attract people of all ages and said it will have a family-friendly atmosphere.
Dutcher, originally from Reno, Nev., is an enthusiast of the sport and has wanted to open a bowling business for years. His father, Barry Dutcher, was also an avid bowler and worked as a back-end mechanic.
Dutcher wanted to open a bowling alley with his father, but he passed away before they could accomplish that goal together. About seven years ago, he moved to Aiken, and decided last year to purchase the old bowling alley.
The bowling alley was built in 1953 by Tommy Crouch to offer SRS employees some entertainment. The bowling alley became a favorite hang-out spot for many Aikenites.
The business was later owned by Crouch's son, Billy. In 2009, the bowling alley was closed after Billy Crouch passed away.
Strikehouse Bowl will open Friday at 5:30 p.m. Free pizza and soda will be available the first hour. The lanes will open around 6:30 p.m. Door prizes will also be given away during the grand opening.
Business hours will tentatively be Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Strikehouse Bowl will offer leagues, parties, private events, church or school lock-ins and after school functions.
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