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Work Could Soon Get Rolling on New Crystal City Bowling Alley

Arlington officials could soon clear the way for a new bowling alley and arcade to set up shop in Crystal City.

The County Board is set to sign off this weekend on plans to open a new “Bowlero” location in the base of The Buchanan apartment building at 320 23rd Street S.

The bowling alley announced plans to expand to the neighborhood last fall, and is now lining up the permits it needs to convert nearly 52,000 square feet of space into a combination entertainment center and full-service bar and restaurant.

Bowlero is now set to move in next to the existing Bar Louie restaurant and Legal Seafood, taking the place of the tech company GDIT and the Queen Amannisa Uyghur restaurant.

According to plans included in a county staff report, visitors will enter the establishment from 23rd Street S., passing through a large video game arcade space. A full bar will sit at the center of the space with as many as 32 bowling lanes surrounding it, according to the report.

County staff are generally supportive of the company’s plans, writing to the Board that the bowling alley will “increase the livelihood of the area, provide diverse cultural and civic facilities to a vast array of demographics and will be an overall quality addition to Crystal City.”

The Board is set to vote on permits attached to the project at its meeting Saturday (Jan. 26). The matter is slated for the Board’s consent agenda, generally reserved for non-controversial items that pass without debate.

Bowlero previously said it was hoping to open the new location sometime in “mid-2019.” The company also operates locations in Centreville and Leesburg.

Should it win the permission it needs, Bowlero’s addition to the neighborhood will be one in a series of big changes for this section of Crystal City.

Not only have several new restaurants, including Federico’s, Los Tios and Fiona’s Irish Pub, decided to set up shop along 23rd Street S., but JBG Smith is also planning on adding an Alamo Drafthouse and other retail offerings nearby as part of its “Central District” project.

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