In the Gutter

May 8, 2008 at 5:39 pm 1 comment

Despite protests, Woodhaven Lanes is soon-to-be history. Get it while you can—

A Queens bowling alley is about to become a casualty of high rents.

After 49 years in business, Woodhaven Lanes in Forest Hills is scheduled to close in less than two weeks.

The owners of the property had asked for a rent decrease, but the management company said they could not accommodate because of their mortgage costs. A last-ditch effort to find a new lease holder was rejected by the bank.

There has been speculation the site will be used for retail — but bowlers say the alley represents something much more valuable to the community.

“We have a lot of places to shop, but we don’t have places to entertain ourselves, have a good time, and to meet with family,” said Jim Santora, who runs the bowling leagues at Woodhaven Lanes. “That’s what bowlers are, family. There are lifelong relationships. Some people have bowled here for the entire 49 years it’s been in operation. I had 80-year-old women and men crying on my shoulders when they found out about this, and I had 2 and 3-year-old children crying as well.”

“I really don’t believe it’s happening,” added bowler Joe Maldonado. “It’s hard to believe it’s happening. We’ve had too many good times here.”

“It’s like the almighty dollar wins again,” said bowler Linda Raia. “What about having a heart?”

“It’s a second home to me,” said bowler David Annunziato. “This is my recreation center.”

Owners Parkwill Management would not comment on the story. But even though things are looking extremely bleak, some are holding out hope the lanes can be saved.

“Everyone is heartbroken,” said bowler Donna Fazio. “They really want to stay here. We’re hoping we can get some help, from somebody like Donald Trump, who is watching this right now, and come in and save the day.”

The alley is set to shut its doors on May 18.


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amy  |  May 9, 2008 at 5:24 am

    My son is actually having his birthday party there on the 18th… We use it as a place the sitter can take the kids on their days off… the school has field trips there…. So sad.


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