Hell's Kitchen Bowling Alley Lucky Strike Celebrates Post-Sandy Reopening
HELL'S KITCHEN — After devastating floodwaters destroyed its high-rolling bowling alley, Hell's Kitchen's Lucky Strike Lanes will celebrate its grand reopening with a thank-you party for customers Saturday.
The swank bowling alley, located at the corner of West 42nd Street and the West Side Highway, was inundated by 3-foot-high floodwaters that irreparably damaged much of the 35,000-square-foot location's equipment and furniture.
"Over 250,000 gallons of water were removed from the place," said Lucky Strike's general manager, Justin Rosenberg. "The bottom line is there was extensive, extensive damage — almost a total loss of stuff."
Lucky Strike's staff, working with contractors, spent 17 days repairing the damage, with carpenters, bowling mechanics and more working double shifts to ensure it would reopen quickly, Rosenberg explained.
In total, 60 people contributed to the effort, allowing the alley to initially reopen in mid-November with rental furniture. On Saturday, Lucky Strike will reopen with permanent furniture and a new look.
"The lounge is designed different, as more of an inviting environment," Rosenberg said.
Unlike some buildings neighboring the Hudson River, Rosenberg said the massive complex will not put in any new flood-prevention measures in case the waters rise again.
The company, which has locations across the country, also raised funds for Sandy victims at its other locations, and helped pay staff money they lost while they were unable to work for three weeks.
When staff returned on Nov. 16 for a soft reopening, Rosenberg said customers were turning up in droves.
"The second we opened up again, business picked back up instantaneously," he said. "We were flooded with people. It's been a real blessing."
Saturday's party kicks off at 9 p.m., with hostesses handing out celebratory champagne and cupcakes, as well as a performance by local band Hello Brooklyn.
The lounge will also feature a new menu, which includes short-rib tacos, macaroni and cheese bites, and grilled buffalo wings.
Saturday's party is the last Rosenberg hopes to hear about Sandy for a while, ending more than a month of headaches caused by the massive repair job.
"I’m really hoping to accomplish some closure, put this whole ideal behind us," he said.
"it really just feels like it never happened."