By Amanda Farinacci
NY1 News | Click Here for Full Story & Video
A line forms inside Rab’s Country Lanes as anxious bowlers stand in wait for lane assignments in their first trip back to the bowling alley since the pandemic shut its doors back in March.
When they hit the lanes, they spared no time, rolling back to business.
What You Need To Know
- 300 bowling centers across the state reopened Monday
- Social distancing guidelines mean every only other lane is used and masks must be worn
- Bowling shoes and balls will be sanitized
- Food or drink not permitted inside
Frank Wilkinson owns Rab’s Country Lanes. “This is certainly a sign that people want to get back to everyday life,” he said.
Governor Cuomo gave the green light for bowling alleys in the state to reopen Monday, but bowling looks a bit different than it did just five months ago.
Every other lane is open to allow for social distancing, masks must be worn and reservations are encouraged.
As for bowling shoes and bowling balls — there will be no more touching or trying on if you don’t have a ball or shoes of your own.
“We will outfit you with the equipment at the front counter,” WIlkinson told NY1. “You go to your lanes. When you’re done, leave everything at the lanes; our team will sanitize, clean, bring it up to the front counter. And then that way there’s no extra touch points.”
A couple more changes to the bowling alley: no eating or drinking inside and food must be taken outside.
Rab’s is currently working to build an outdoor dining area.
The New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, a group 300 bowling centers across the state, had been lobbying hard to allow their alleys to reopen, citing the possibilities for social distancing given the size of their facilities, and detailed plans for safety and sanitizing.
They are small changes that bowlers we spoke with seemed to be taking in stride.
Henry Rau is an avid bowler.
“I think it’s about time. It’s well overdue and I think it should have been sooner,” he said.
Enrique Rodriguez came with his friend to bowl.
“They’re spacing everyone out; we’re wearing masks, I think this is going to be fine,” he said.
Rab’s is hoping to open its outdoor space in the coming days.
And the bowling alley is already booked for the next few days.
The center’s robust bowling league will come back to play after Labor Day.