Bowling alley in Patchogue closing for good after decades in business
It's the end of an era for a decades-old bowling alley in Patchogue as it gets set to close its doors for good.
The Eggert family has owned Bowl Long Island at Patchogue since 2008. The family was heartbroken to learn last month that they would have to close the doors permanently.
The bowling alley has been closed since the start of the pandemic. The family says they were close to reopening and then realized it wasn't going to happen.
"He put his heart and soul into this place," says Dana Eggert, the owner's wife. "Our kids grew up here."
When owner Robert Eggert says bowling is in his blood -- he means it.
"My father was a pin boy in the 40s when there were no automated setters," says Robert. "Even my third cousin Andy Varipapa -- he's known as the greatest spare shooter ever to live. To have the opportunity back in 2008 to own my own bowling center it's like a dream."
Robert says during the time the bowling alley was closed, he learned that the roof had damage. At first, he thought it was a little bit of damage only to learn it was much more. He says the insurance company dragged its heels.
"Now it went into the winter, and it literally cost me well over $10,000 a month to be closed," says Robert. "It started depleting my bank accounts -- my family bank accounts, and it was really trying for us."
Things finally fell into place, and the plan was to reopen in January. Then Robert received a letter from the property owner saying they were selling the property.
"It was shocking," says Robert.
Taylor Eggert, Robert's daughter, says she has so many memories at the bowling alley.
"I've been in this bowling alley since I'm 7 years old," says Taylor. "I'm 20 now so I've made so many memories - so many friendships. It's like a second home and I'm gonna miss it."
Robert says all that is left to do now is sell all the contents inside and say goodbye.