Photo by Ethan McLeod

Shuttered since summer of 2017, the downstairs bowling alley at the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center in Upton is set to make a comeback this spring, according to the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

Rec and Parks spokeswoman Whitney Clemmons Brown told Baltimore Fishbowl Monday that the newly renovated alley will have 22 lanes, and is set to open sometime in the next several months.

Rec and Parks officials still have a few more meetings lined up to “discuss the overall updates, but we do plan to get it ready for the public by the spring and are planning an opening,” she said.

The city closed the 37-year-old roller rink, arcade and bowling spot on Pennsvylania about 18 months ago. Councilman Eric Costello, whose district includes Shake and Bake, said at the time that the building needed “significant capital upgrades which simply can’t be completed while the facility is in use.”

A little over half a year later, Rec and Parks unveiled the newly redone skating area, arcade and concessions section to the public. The main level now has a brand new rink and sound system, and updated kitchen and restrooms. It also got some vital infrastructural upgrades, including a new roof and HVAC repairs.

Coming soon. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

But the bowling alley, located downstairs, has remained hidden away from the public amid ongoing renovations. Recreation and Parks Director Reginald Moore had said at the rink’s grand reopening that the city still needed to hire a consultant to upgrade the lanes, televisions and other equipment.

This past December, the city’s spending board approved a $1.15 million award for Brunswick Bowling Products, a Michigan-based bowling alley chain operator, to rebuild the basement facility. And last month, officials signed off on a contract with the company running through March 21.

More recently, last week the city posted a solicitation for bids on its procurement system, CitiBuy, from vendors who can supply 242 bowling balls for the center, ranging from six to 15 pounds in weight. For anyone who knows a guy, the city is taking quotes starting this Friday, March 1.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...