BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon couple has purchased and renovated a longtime gathering spot for family fun in the area to assure it will be around for years to come.
And on Saturday, Nov. 10, they’re inviting community members to come out and celebrate with an open house at Woody’s Bowling Center, located at 22 Vicksburg Road.
Slated for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the open house will feature freebies, raffles and door prizes throughout the day.
New owners Ron and Cemantha Woody said they hope people will enjoy spending the day at Woody’s Bowling Center, formerly Buckhannon Lanes.
“We hope people will come and see what we have done and enjoy spending time with their families and friends,” Cemantha Woody said. “We wanted to keep the look of the place retro while breathing a little life back into the center. I didn’t want to get rid of the history here – everyone in Buckhannon has history here. The same family has owned and operated it for 56 years, and we just wanted to make sure it stayed here and open.”
Cemantha Woody explained that the Buckhannon Lanes Bowling Center was not officially for sale when she and her husband purchased it.
“We had been bowling here with friends,” she said. “We were afraid that one day, the doors might just close, and we knew we didn’t want that to happen. It wasn’t advertised for sale, but we approached them about the possibility of purchasing it. And on Aug. 3, we did just that.”
Some of the updates and renovations were added after the couple purchased items from Valley Worlds of Fun, which recently closed.
“We bought their ball racks, high too tables, four-seated tables and booths,” Cemantha Woody said.
But the bowling pins, bowling balls and bowling shoes are all brand new.
“The balls, pins and table tops glow under black lights, so we will offer black-light bowling,” she added.
Also new to Woody’s Bowling Center is the Sync scoring system, which will ‘bowl’ you over.
The system uses touch screens, and all data is displayed on the overhead monitors.
She said they have purchased all new shoes and now have a shoe closet – and while going through everything in storage, Cemantha Woody said she found lots of old treasures and items she will use to fill a memorabilia cabinet near the entrance.
The new carpeting in Woody’s Bowling Center will ‘strike’ a fancy with everyone. It features very colorful bowling balls, pins and actually glows under the black lights as well.
“The good folks at Ralph’s Furniture found the carpeting for us,” she said.
Lots of the original décor at Woody’s Bowling Center will remain the same, including the bar stools and countertops of the snack bar.
“The countertops are original from Brunswick and feature the gold crowns,” Cemantha Woody said. “We just added metal to the front of the snack bar to give it a retro look.”
Bowling, playing video games and shooting pool can work up an appetite, and Woody’s Bowling Center will still be serving food. However, Cemantha Woody said they will not be a full-fledged restaurant – more like a snack bar.
“We will sell hamburgers, hot dogs and lots of snack items from the original menu that is familiar to everyone,” she said. “We added pizza ovens to the kitchen, so we will be selling pizzas as a new item.”
Leagues will begin again at Woody’s Bowling Center on Nov. 18. The Woodys said they will have leagues for women, men and mixed coming back.
“We are hoping to add a few leagues to the schedule as well,” Cemantha Woody said. “Some we hope we can add include corporate leagues, youth leagues and one geared to college students and faculty members. We would love to start a Wesleyan League where students and professors can come together and have fun.”
The Woodys said their main goal in purchasing Woody’s Bowling Center is to bring something new to the community and preserve an important recreational opportunity for community members and especially kids.
“We hope to get with owners of daycares and give businesses variety and something new to do,” she said. “We will host birthday parties on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and maybe on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We want this to be a place for family fun for everyone.”
Cemantha Woody said they have tried to include youth in the community while preparing for the grand opening.
“We have been working with the Buckhannon-Upshur High School digital imaging integrated business class,” she said. “We have been meeting with the students, and they have prepared our fliers and pamphlets. They also printed and laminated our menus. It has been a great experience.”
Woody’s Bowling Center is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Additional information is available on their Facebook page or by calling 304-472-5070.