Bowlers react to life without Elk Grove Bowl

Alex Para, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Drivers who pass the busy intersection of Higgins and Arlington Heights roads will notice the absence of a Shell gas station, and most importantly, the popular Elk Grove Bowl.

Founded in 1962 by Lewis Handler and Marc Auerbach, Elk Grove Bowl had grown into a cornerstone family-run business in Elk Grove Village. It wasn’t just a bowling alley, but it was a community center and a place for people to host celebrations like birthday parties, anniversaries and similar events.

Though the bowling alley’s former owner, Debbie Handler, didn’t want to see it closed down, she had no choice but to sell it to the village, who is developing it into retail space and apartments.

The Elk Grove Bowl’s closing reflects a trend as reported in the Daily Herald, as the publication reported that the number of bowling alleys has declined by 60 percent, from 640 in the late 1980s to just 260 alleys now.

Though she only started to really invest in bowling sophomore year, junior Violet Luoren has competed at Elk Grove Bowl several times throughout their high school career.

“More often during the summer, but also more often at birthday parties and all that”

As for junior Gabriela Galen, she mostly bowled with their dad younger at other places.

“It would be someplace else like Bowlero bowl in Prospect,” Galan said. “But sometimes I did go to Elk Grove Bowl.” 

Prior to Elk Grove Bowl’s demolition, the Elk Grove bowling team would leave for the alley at 3:15 p.m. to return at Elk Grove around 6 p.m. It was just a two-minute drive. Now the Grens take a slightly longer 10-minute drive to Wood Dale Bowl for practice. It is closer to Fenton High School than it is Elk Grove.

“It’s not a huge inconvenience,” Luoren said, “because regularly, outside of school, I go to Des Plaines for karate so it’s not as big of an issue.”

Though Luoren might not speak for the team, they did say the team does miss the proximity of Elk Grove Bowl.

Galan, for one, is going to miss the convenience. 

“I miss EG Bowl because it was a big space, because Wood Dale’s smaller,” Galan said. “But it was also a shorter ride to EG also.”

Elk Grove has an invite upcoming on Dec. 10 in Mundelein.