Did you hear the one about the two guys who loved to bowl? They bought their own bowling alley!
Not funny? Perhaps not, but for Dick Alcorn and Tim Peterson, it is a true story. The two men have purchased Peabody Lanes, which has been closed since winter, and they will have it open for fall leagues in a week or two.
“As most people in Peabody know, we do like to bowl,” Peterson said. “It was an opportunity for us to have something to do, to be involved locally with a sport we really like, and to provide recreation for the community.”
Alcorn is the owner-operator of Peabody Farm Service and Peterson just took over at Pop’s Diner (the former Sharon’s Korner Kitchen) in January. However, Alcorn wants to retire and turn the business over to his son, David. Peterson’s restaurant closes daily at 2 p.m., leaving him with free time every night.
“Neither of us thinks we are going to get rich at this,” Alcorn said. “But we both enjoy the sport and want something to do in our spare time. We figure we will be able to pay the bills and have fun and that sounds like a great job to have.”
Alcorn said that when he and his family first moved to Peabody, the bowling alley was where he went to meet people.
“It was where people were in the evenings,” he said. “We hope that with the support of the community, the bowling alley can be that way again. Like the ‘new meeting place.’ We want people to have a good time.”
They are recruiting bowlers for several leagues to start in the next week or so.
“We plan to have men’s, women’s, senior’s, youth, and mixed leagues,” Peterson said. “Right now, we are looking at four and five man teams, depending on how many people sign up. If a group of friends already has enough for a team and want to sign up that way, that is fine with us.”
Alcorn and Peterson have not yet made firm plans to have specific leagues bowl on certain nights. They encourage interested individuals to contact them this week or next or stop by the bowling alley to sign up.
“We need to find out what nights the bowlers themselves want,” Peterson said. “The cost will be reasonable, about $8 or $9 a week for league bowling, $2 for open bowling, and $1 for shoe rental.”
They also hope to create a travel team of adults that will go to other towns on the second Sunday of each month.
“And we have talked with Peabody-Burns High School Athletic Director Ray Savage about bringing back the high school bowling team,” Alcorn said. “It is probably too late for this year, but we’d like to get some kids in here and see what the interest level is. And we hope to bring in a certified coach to work with young bowlers so the kids can enjoy bowling as well as the parents.”
Other entertainment options at Peabody Lanes will include private parties and Saturday night nine pin and colored pin competitions.
The men have installed new carpeting in the entryway and eating area, cleaned and waxed the linoleum, and touched up paint and trim.
They plan to leave the kitchen area as is, but the food they provide for their customers will be basically convenience food, not restaurant fare that was served by the previous owners.
“I’m already in the restaurant business,” Peterson said. “I’m not much interested in running a second one. So this will be frozen pizzas, maybe some vending machine sandwiches, munchies, and things like that.”
Peabody Lanes also will seek a cereal malt liquor license to serve beer.
“The bottom line is that bowling is good fun, good exercise, and a way to be with people you enjoy,” Alcorn said. “That’s how it’s supposed to work.”
“We want everyone to have a good experience at Peabody Lanes,” Peterson added. “If something is wrong, we want people to come talk to us. We will do our best to make it right. We want our customers to look forward to coming back.”