ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — After more than 30 years in business, St. Paul’s Midway Pro Bowl will soon set its last pins.
Owners have been told their lease will end early to make room for redevelopment. The popular neighborhood bowling alley occupies part of the Midway Shopping Center at University and Snelling Avenues.
That’s where Minnesota United are building the team’s new stadium. Allianz Field is coming right along, with cranes and heavy equipment. But the cost of progress brings an end to a longtime neighborhood bowling alley.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon and Larry Torgerson and Bob Cyza are doing what best buddies do: Wagering on their bowling.
“Basically leagues you know everybody, even the ones that come from another part of town,” Torgerson said.
It’s likely the last time they’ll get together at Larry’s neighborhood lanes. Midway Pro Bowl lost its lease to make room for a new pro soccer stadium.
“It hasn’t really set in yet but that’s definitely hardest part,” Torgerson said.
Alan Loth and his partner bought it 34 years ago. This was the newspaper ad when it first opened in August of 1960.
“We’ve had people come hug us, sorry won’t be able to be here anymore,” Loth said.
Being forced to close is bittersweet.
“Wer’e sad, want to stay in business but don’t look like well be able to. Relocation doesn’t look like a very good possibility now,” Loth said.
So they’ll sell all the fixtures and go dark, and falling pins will go silent. Where families and friends came together in honest competition is a loss you can’t replace.
“They’re going to go to the four winds I understand that, but it’s a little depressing,” Cyza said.
Midway Pro Bowl will close in mid-September and throw a big party. We did speak to the property manager out in New York. They say they still don’t have a firm timeline for when the rest of this site will be demolished to make room for Phase 2 of the redevelopment.