Last Friday, Martin Austermuhle of DCist had a major scoop about Vornado’s plans for the Georgetown Park mall: the developer was planning on bringing in a bowling alley.
The plans envision a restaurant on the mall’s first level—fronting Wisconsin Avenue—that seats 100, the 12 bowling lanes and three bocce courts. A second floor would include banquet rooms and two more bocce courts. Each game at Pinstripes’ other locations cost $5 not including the $4 for shoes, while entrees range from $17 to $27.
Intimating that the plans might be controversial, he also noted Vornado’s preemptive strategy:
Seemingly prepared for some pushback from local residents, the proposal tries to downplay the bowling element, saying that only 20 percent of the restaurant’s square footage will be dedicated to the sport and that less than five percent of its clientele are expected to partake. “The primary focus of the establishment will be on its food,” says the proposal, which cites menu items such as filet mignon, maple glazed salmon jumbo lump crab cake and “other fine-dining items.”
Frankly, those food items sound like something from Red Lobster, not “fine-dining”.
But that’s about the only quibble GM has with this plan. Having a bowling alley in Georgetown would be awesome for young families. And it could replace the hole that was created with the closing of Georgetown Billiards, namely a place for 18 year old kids to hang out and have fun without needing a fake id.
For some reason, the bowling alley would need zoning relief. And Austermuhle suggests that some of the Georgetown Park condo-dwellers might object to the noise from a bowling alley (the Simpsons hard-luck character Frank Grimes famously lived above a bowling alley [and below another]). So they are well within their rights to demand adequate sound abatement.
Other than this reasonable objection, GM doesn’t anticipate any other pushback. Some may point to Lucky Strike in Gallery Place and complain that it attracts “unruly” crowds. GM’s response to that would be to point out that Gallery Place has a movie theater that also attracts those same crowds. If it’s the activity that attracts rowdy teens, than wouldn’t Georgetown’s movie theater attract them too?