View Full Version : Western Bowl to close May 1, 2009

01-19-2009, 01:09 PM
GREEN TWP. -- It appears the 52nd year at Western Bowl will be its last.

The owners of Western Bowl have decided to close the West Side mainstay May 1, confirmed employee Jason Vandermark, who has spent a decade working at the bowling alley.

On a "sort of" busy Saturday night, Vandermark said the economy, the smoking ban and a lagging interest in the sport are to blame.

"There aren't as many people coming through the doors lately, that's for sure," Vandermark said.

Earlier this year the Hoinke family considered selling the property, but decided against it. They thought of closing up to 20 of the 68 lanes, but didn't.

At one point, Tracy Hoinke told The Enquirer: "The Western Bowl is not closing, and we have no plans to close."

But that was before the stock market crash and the aftermath that has skyrocketed unemployment.

Western Bowl, 6383 Glenway Ave., is known for the Hoinke Classic. Erv Hoinke Sr., founded the tournament in 1943 to promote bowling. The prizes then were World War II war bonds and stamps.

For the past 20 years, the tournament has put up at least $1 million in prize money.

It's unclear whether the restaurant Cancun, located in the same building, will close as well.

"A lot of people have been calling since they heard the news," Vandermark said. "We'll be losing a great asset to this community. It's a shame."


01-19-2009, 01:47 PM
I have a friend that works for Western Bowl part-time. It will be tough for her. As for me, I always thought they ran a good bowling alley.

01-19-2009, 02:23 PM
I have not been thier since the 90's. I usally go to the Delhi bowling alley since I live in Delhi.

01-19-2009, 02:36 PM
Sad to see it go, a true west side icon.

01-19-2009, 04:15 PM
the Hoinke classic used to be a huge event

01-19-2009, 05:37 PM
Interesting, I thought they had already sold the place.

I imagine Cancun will close as well.

Caveat Emperor
01-19-2009, 06:31 PM
And this is hot on the heels of the bowling alley on Beechmont closing.

I'm in an office bowling league @ Stones in Norwood. The staff there have told me in the past that, other than league nights, it's pretty dead most of the time.

I like bowling a lot, but it's a sport/activity that isn't as popular as it once was and is having a difficult time attracting new participants. The public smoking ban hasn't helped either, from what I've heard.

I think bowling alleys can still be successful, but they've gotta do some different stuff to compete in the current economy.