NEW LONDON, Minn. (WCCO) — There’s a bowling alley in central Minnesota that ‘CCO viewers think is in a league of its own. Its owners just took over the business with a little help from their biggest supporters: Their moms.

In this week’s Best of Minnesota: Your votes sent Natalie Nyhus to Alley on Ash in New London.

Jesse Gislason and Mike Robison are the good ol’ boys of New London.

“Moved to the New London area 25 years ago,” Jesse said.

They both spent plenty of time at the 35-year old bowling alley as kids.

“We were champions back in the day when we bowled here about 15 years ago,” Jesse said.

Now, they’re championing their new business. Just a year ago, the good ol’ boys took over this good ol’ bowling alley, breathing new life into this small town hub.

“There was no place to bring you family,” Mike’s mom Dianne said. “You could go to a restaurant, but you’d have to make your kids sit still, and here they can bounce around, bowl and clap their hands and have fun.”

Dianne is probably Mike’s biggest fan. In fact, both the boys’ mothers helped bring this business to life.

“They do the dirty work, and they work their tails off,” Jesse said.

And it wasn’t just the moms making this eight-lane alley happen. Once the guys signed the papers for the place, people from the community were ready to chip in.

“People were coming from the community and asking, ‘What can we do? What can we do to help? Can we wash the light fixtures? What can we do?'” Dianne said. “You could tell that the community cared.”

And in return, the community got good food, fun and fellowship. It’s a place where everyone and anyone can feel welcome.

“When we started this, that was kind of our main goal. We need people to feel like they are at home,” Jesse said. “When they walk out the doors, they should be excited to come back here. They are high-fiving their friends saying, ‘I can’t wait to come back!'”

Alley on Ash is open daily with a full bar, menu and eight lanes of bowling.

Your other favorite places to bowl are: Flaherty’s Arden Bowl in Arden Hills and Lakeville Family Bown in Lakeville.


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