With several different crafts working simultaneously, and at an accelerated pace, things are shaping up nicely for the anticipated late June opening of SuperBowl, formerly Bob’s Bowl at 1107 E. Eighth St.
It was hoped that things would be in place for the grand opening to occur during the Superman Celebration, but owners Lindell, Jeff and Jim Eickholz have taken a more measured stance on the much anticipated opening. Jeff Eickholz put it this way last week: “If a guy comes in and wants a pizza and a beer or a cheeseburger and a soft drink, we don’t want to tell him that the only thing that’s ready are the lanes! We want it all up and running.”
OK, so what’s so special about a bowling center? Take it from me, this isn’t going to be your “run of the mill” bowling alley. Better yet, take it from Lindell, the senior Eickholz involved: “It really bothered me driving by the place last year and seeing another big, empty building here in Metropolis. When I had convinced myself that it (the renovation) could be done, the family was next.
“When sons Jeff and Jim came aboard they brought a couple of different viewpoints and most definitely a big ‘WOW’ factor into the equation. They have been invaluable and have added things to the project that I would have never thought of.
“It has definitely taken on a life of its own. We really felt like Metropolis deserved a first class addition and we think we’ve got it,” added Eickholz.
Managers Kevin Westerfield and Sean Baker are also ‘super’ excited about the business opportunity. They both emphasized the “guest approach.” “We want everyone that comes in here, whether they’re regular league bowlers or a group of 10-year-olds having a birthday party, to feel that they’re our valued guests,” Westerfield and Baker stated.
When asked about the changes to the establishment they launched into a litany of improvements. “Well, let’s start outside: paved parking, new lights, new siding, new entrances on both the west side and the south side, landscaping etc.
“Now for the inside: lane resurfacing, new gutters, new gutter covers, remote bumpers for some of the lanes, new sweeps, new front screens, refurbished pin setter chassis’, new state of the art AMF Qubica scoring system, new seating arrangements in the pits, upgraded lighting...you name it,” the duo explained.
You want something to eat? Westerfield said that the center will have a full service food bar with sandwiches, cold drinks, a pizza oven and even a barbeque nacho plate featuring Bill’s Barbeque. The center will have a full service bar area, though you have to be 21 to enter, that will also have video gaming devices. Pool tables, electronic darts and a plethora of big screen TVs will highlight the area. For the youngsters there will be a large arcade area. Games will run the gamut from video-interactive to old fashioned stuff like shooting baskets.
Four modern, accommodating, tiled bathrooms — two for each gender — are welcome additions. One bathroom area will serve the bar/billiards area and the other will serve the bowling and game room area. Baker said a full service pro shop is coming as well as an up-to-date web site. They hope to offer information such as specials, upcoming events, links to bowling equipment, league schedules and standings on the site.
“We hope to be able to book events like birthday parties, etc. on-line making it easy on the customer,” said Westerfield. “With events like kids’ parties, we want to be able to designate a staff member to each event so the parents don’t have so much to do.”
Baker and Westerfield are excited about getting leagues up and running. “We anticipate a couple of leagues being completely full with some other leagues forming.
“One thing we’re really excited about is finding some folks to help us start up a youth league (personal note here — I and a lot of other 50-60 year olds remember the old Coca-Cola league on Saturday morning). That would be pivotal in rekindling interest in bowling in Metropolis, getting kids into the game at an early age.”
Events like glow-bowl, strike pots, etc. are planned as well as some tournaments for the serious keglers.
Westerfield and Baker are currently going over applications and making preparations for the hiring and training of staff members as the “deadline” bears down.
The Eickholz family is pouring heart and soul, not to mention a considerable financial aspect, into this project and are justifiably proud of how far things have come. Lindell is hopeful that the new center might be a catalyst for others here in Metropolis.
“We have several projects here that are worthy and I sincerely hope that this might ignite something to bring back life and vitality to Metropolis. Friends of Fort Massac, the Save the Massac Theater project...there are so many good things that could be done here.
“We hope that by opening the SuperBowl Metropolis will receive a much needed economic boost. We have had so many encouraging comments during the renovation it proves to us that people do want our town to thrive.
“With some re-invigorated community support, we can only speculate what good could be done here!”