Arlington, VA

After years of planning and some delays, Bowlero (320 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City is ready to rock and bowl.

The combination bowling alley and restaurant has hit a few snags, not the least of which was the most recent global pandemic, and staff said that’s also impacted the business’s opening.

Alan Morrison, district manager for Bowlero, said that after yesterday’s ribbon-cutting around 25 customers came in the early afternoon to bowl, drink, or play in the arcade. In other circumstances that might have seemed low, but Morrison said the bowling alley — like other new businesses — is having to adapt to different expectations.

“The pandemic has affected us,” Morrison said. “People aren’t coming out and rightfully so. We’re adhering to guidelines and seeing less traffic than normal, but I’m confident once it’s passed they will.”

Morrison said the bowling alley has a “three-tier” approach to trying to combat the spread of a virus in sport that’s inherently very hands-on.

Every fifteen minutes staff sweep through the facility and clean all of the balls and equipment. There are supplies at the lanes to help facilitate cleaning equipment between use, and there are sanitation stations throughout the facility with disinfectants.

All employees and guests at the facility are required to wear face masks, Morrison said, and the seating is set up at every other lane.

“Folks are nice and spaced out,” Morrison said. “It’s a huge venue so we can seat people pretty far apart. We have directional arrows to stop people from getting close to each other, and that’s worked pretty well so far.”

Still, like many in Arlington, Morrison is hoping sometime soon people will be able to gather and roll at Bowlero without concerns about spreading COVID-19.

“We’re looking forward to folks in the neighborhood being able to check us out,” Morrison said. “And if you’re in the mood to just come in and have a drink we have an awesome bar.”

Photos courtesy Bowlero

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