Historic bowling alley faces demolition

MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One of the last remaining bowling alleys in the Capital Region is set to close its doors.

For John Oereildis, he’s had a long run with Olympic Lanes in Menands.

“I’ve been here since 1971.”

Taking ownership 27 years ago when business was booming, these 80 lanes stay opened 24-7.

It was a place for people with talent to spare.

“Not too many people bowl anymore. It used to be big. I remember as a kid going there, get the popcorn, have some snacks, and have fun,” Mitchum White said.

But business just isn’t what it used to be.

“A lot of bills and no income.”

So a project is in the works to tear down Olympic Lanes, making room for a proposed 72-unit apartment complex.

Plus, John is feeling his age.

“My daughter and my son-in-law, this is their project. They’re taking over for me because they don’t want me working anymore. I’m 72 years old! I don’t need it.”

John says plans call for a gated community that’s built for young professionals.

Some neighbors worry about potential traffic implications because there is really just one way in and one way out.

Businesses have left the village because there were not enough shoppers. Many people believe this project strikes just the right balance.

“I think its great to get more people in Menands,” Andy Rumpelt said. “I think Menands is an up and coming area.  I think it would be good for the neighborhood, the values of the homes, and I think it’s what Menands needs right now.”

For John, he says everything comes to an end eventually.

At least, there’s still time for one last lucky strike.

“We are still open up until everything is approved.”

The developers still need a special use permit.

The village is holding a public hearing on March 5.

Through all of this, Olympic Lanes is open if you have the talent to spare.