OBX bowling center is up and rolling once again

By on February 11, 2013

bowlingBreak out the ball bags and shoes.

Bowling is back on the Outer Banks, and given the upgrades to the old Nags Head Bowling Center by its new owner and new operator, we might call it OBX Bowling 2.0.

Israel Golasa, a local retailer and commercial property owner, purchased the bowling alley after a local bank obtained possession following a court battle over ownership.

Golasa’s company, Beach Mart Inc., immediately began searching for an experienced bowling alley operator to reopen the facility.

Elizabeth City businessman Jeff Meads was selected to lease and operate the new bowling center, which will be known as OBX Bowling.

Meads owns Coastal Office Supply in Elizabeth City. He also owns and operates the Albemarle Bowling Center in Elizabeth City and is involved with another bowling center in Williamston.

Many improvements include brighter lighting and a new grill. (Russ Lay)

Many improvements include brighter lighting and a new grill. (Russ Lay)

The alley had been operating under a soft opening for 10 days, with bowling leagues and other groups coming in to assess improvements and make suggestions to the staff.

The first day the alley was open to the public was Feb. 8.

Those familiar with the old Nags Head Bowling Center will notice immediate changes. The outside has been repainted in bright colors with improved visibility from the road.

Shortly, an LED sign emblazoned with the new name will serve as a marquee.

Inside, new lighting, new tables and chairs and a spruced up main counter makes the facility “pop” and come alive.

A new pool room is also featured. (Russ Lay)

A new pool room is also featured. (Russ Lay)

The grill has been revamped with a new menu and a grill manager. According to Meads, “this will be a place where you can bowl and enjoy the food.”

Beer will be available and by May, the alley hopes to have a liquor license.

Long-time patrons may remember summer days with no air conditioning and winter nights with no heat. Those old units have been replaced and bowlers can now enjoy a climate-controlled facility.

The lanes have also seen significant improvements. A $15,000 oiling machine was purchased and lanes will be oiled regularly, a major improvement for league and serious bowlers.

The pinsetters have also been repaired so bowlers will not have to contend with trying to pick up spares with pins placed too close or too far apart.

Meads purchased 12 dozen new house balls to replace the old bowling balls that literally had craters pocking the exterior. Many of the balls are painted in florescent colors to take advantage of the black lights during “Rock n’ Bowl” weekends.

There's a brand new kids arcade. (Russ Lay)

There’s a brand new kids arcade. (Russ Lay)

A new pool room with three new tables is just waiting for some league action. A brand new kids area features games for the tykes. Many of these games award the children “redemption tickets,” and the kid’s area has been moved to the north end of the facility so children redeeming prizes will not create logjams with bowlers using the counter to get shoes and pay for games.

Adult games are located near the entrance and include “all the latest and most popular” video and pinball games, according to Meads.

In fact, a pinball league has already been formed to take advantage of the new machines.


Manager Daniel Dunchak and Assistant Manager Stephen Marshall. (Russ Lay)

Safety and a family atmosphere will also be a priority. Security cameras are installed on the inside and Meads emphasized loitering and bad behavior will not be tolerated. The parking lot also has new and additional lighting.

All told, the operator and the building owner, in order to make the new bowling center a destination for league and family bowlers, have invested over $225,000 thus far in improvements.

Another new addition will be the music. The center has contracted with a satellite service that specializes in bowling alleys. Players will be able to make song and dedication requests from their cell phones and hear the DJ’s play and mention those songs — usually within 20 minutes.

The music can be adapted to the crowd, so, for example, adult leagues have been treated to 70s music.

The pinball arcade. (Russ Lay)

The pinball arcade. (Russ Lay)

Weekend “Rock ‘n Bowl” with black lighting lanes and glowing bowling balls will return on weekends for the teen crowds, and Meads is exploring adding a live DJ to the mix.

Children’s parties will also be offered, and Meads hopes the use of the facility for parties and charitable events will pick up.

Speaking of children, the new “Dragon slide” is already a hit. Abby, who came in with her father to check out the new facility agreed to demonstrate this fun piece of equipment for our readers.

The bowling alley, like all Outer Banks businesses, will require significant local support, especially during January through March to succeed financially.

Less than a decade ago, the Outer Banks sported more league bowlers than any other place in northeastern North Carolina.

Meads is anxious to get those leagues back up to their traditional numbers. Currently, there are leagues on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and none of them are filling up the entire center.

So Meads has two messages for the local audience. First, currently there are open lanes every weeknight for non-league bowlers. Second, he wants to fill those lanes up with league bowlers Monday through Thursday.

He is hoping organized businesses such as the Realtors, Homebuilders and Chamber members will form more leagues and fill the center with much-needed off-season revenue.

Weekends will require locals to support the new business, and in the summer, Meads is making an active effort to reach out to our visitors to use the alley for family activities.

With all of these improvements, prices have gone up only slightly. Locals receive a discount and on weekdays can bowl for $3.75 a game and $4.75 on weekends.

A check of nearby centers reveals these prices are right in line with Elizabeth City and anywhere from a $1.50 to $2 cheaper per game for lanes in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

When the old alley closed, our readers filled our comment sections with lamentations about losing another local, family recreational opportunity.

The building owner, Israel Golasa and the new operator, Jeff Meads, along with his management team of have put their money at risk in the belief locals wanted to keep this type of entertainment a going concern on the beach.

If they deliver on their end, it’s up to us to deliver our votes in the form of patronizing this business.

So polish up those balls, get off that Wii machine and give this new business a whirl.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ObxBowling?fref=ts

Phone: 252-255-1187

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February 17, 2013 10:21 am

My husband and I would always hit the bowling lanes when we visited Outer Banks. Happy to hear it has reopened. Looking forward to seeing the new updated place. Grabbing some good food, bowling and relaxing!


February 14, 2013 3:10 pm

Well I guess if people can’t afford it , they will close again. What the heck, do you want free bowling? It’s entertainment and you are keeping a local business and employees operating. Spend a little to keep a good thing going. Otherwise there will be another wings!!

OBX Surfer for life

February 13, 2013 6:04 pm

Glad to see it back open, and hopefully they will get that ABC permit cause like playing pool, I bowl a lot better if I have a couple jaeger bombs under my belt ;).


February 13, 2013 11:51 am

I agree this is business and it needs to make money, and I like most people are on a tight budget. A lot of businesses change their overall prices between the busy season and the off season to help drive the local business. I hope this is something Isreal looks into, I like that he is giving a local discount and he needs to see how this goes. Maybe next winter he will look into a off season price.
I will support this business.. I would just like to be able to support it more often than I can afford to now.


February 13, 2013 10:14 am

One of the things that I love about the Outer Banks is the community. I think we have all been worn down and taken some abuse here recently so its nice to know that people are still working to provide the environment for such a unique community.


February 12, 2013 10:48 pm

I like the idea of senior night, as someone mentioned upthread. Especially during the off-season, that would be a good way to get the 55-plus crowd out of the house and spending money. Prices seem reasonable to me. All told, less than an evening at the movies, and it’s a good way to stay active.


February 12, 2013 7:38 pm

All open-to-the-public indoor facilities are smoke-free under NC state law, going back three years now.

concerned citizen

February 12, 2013 7:36 pm

Wow has hit the nail on the head.

I personally know Dwight (last name omitted) that owns Indian River Lanes, the alley on VB Boulevard, and 2 others. It’s a business, and I can tell you that it costs a LOT of $$ just to maintain the electronic scoring machines and the intercoms that everyone takes for granted. Put on top of that the fact that you now have to pay ASCAP for music every month, rent, taxes…you get the picture.

I’m sure that’s why the last owners lost it: they didn’t keep up with the times. Unfortunately, since it’s seasonal, if they keep it open all year, they’re going to have to balance the offset traffic in the off-peak season – and that means a higher price overall.

But, if you like to bowl, it’s probably worth it – I mean, it’s not going to cost you any more than a couple of beers in any restaurant around here, right??

Almand's Joy

February 12, 2013 8:49 am

I assume this is a “no smoking” facility. Can you confirm?


February 12, 2013 4:22 am

Everyone crying about the prices.

You realize that the super deals and free bowling put the last owners in bankruptcy. A business cannot operate on free and constant discounts.

All the comments about the loss of the bowling center don’t mean much now.

Seems like everyone wanted it back–just as long as they don’t have to pay.

As a resident I am very glad to see this business open again and ready to entertain. As a business owner I will be glad to bring my family of 4 to your establishment and pay for the entertainment you provide.


February 11, 2013 11:06 pm

Isreal PLEASE offer the family bowling on Saturdays. 5-7 pm, up to 6 people could bowl for $30. We each got a slice of pizza and a pitcher or soda for the group. It was an amazing deal and my family went often. We could easly get in 2 games for our 2 hour time frame. What fun!!

Hamilton Whitfield

February 11, 2013 4:43 pm

I wouldn’t thank IG Holdings to quickly! Let’s give it 2 years and then evaluate whether they’re worthy of a pat on the back or not!


February 11, 2013 3:31 pm

I bowled for many years at the house in Eliz.City … prices have always been fair … when I first started bowling, the cost was like $0.75 a game, shoes were $0.25 and that was 40 years ago. Sure, I would like to bowl all day for under $20 but I would also like to fill up my the gas tank on my F-150 for under $20 again like I could have 40 years ago. I know that the Outer Banks is seasonal … I have worked for companies which service the beach since I was 18 … the beach is a great place but go to Va. Beach and see what a family of 5 will pay to play.


February 11, 2013 3:04 pm

Well this should shut up all those moms who complained that there was no where for their kids to go anymore. Be a parent and enroll your child in music/sports/art/hobby/and chores.

Miss Faith

February 11, 2013 2:13 pm

Thank you, Israel! I knew you and your family would do it right for the community. Please ignore the jealous, ignoramuses that envy your successes. Most of us that have chosen to live here have worked out in the real world, for real business people, know how to show respect for those who have attained their accomplishments by hard work and smart business practices (whether we agree with their methods or not). Stay on course with the community for OUR eight months a year and you won’t go wrong!!! There are MANY of us (like ‘local’ and myself) that truly do appreciate all that you do.


February 11, 2013 1:28 pm

@G: I am pretty sure Nags Head allows LED signs as long as they are not animated.


February 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Already took my kids there. They have an arcade section for the kids which is AWESOME!! It is clean and bright. Left a good impression. Expensive, maybe but they need to stay in business.


February 11, 2013 10:53 am

So Happy to see the bowling alley open again!! Thank You! We will definatly be going there again. Will they still offer the “family night” for $30? Will they still honor the childrens report cards (free game for every “A”)? Looking forward to seeing improvements.


February 11, 2013 10:46 am

$43.00 for 1 game 2 adults & 3 kids. That will be my last trip to OBX Bowling. I just can’t afford it. I hope they bring back family night.


February 11, 2013 10:17 am

I’m glad it’s open again, but an LED marquee? I thought Nags Head had an ordinance against that type of signage.


February 11, 2013 10:06 am

Look forward to patronizing the improved bowling alley. I spent many years of my childhood there.

Russ Lay

February 11, 2013 9:35 am

Concerned: We also checked Chesapeake and Virginia Beach where this company does not operate. Chesapeake ran close to $8.00 a game on Fri/Sat!


February 11, 2013 9:20 am

I don’t like how many wings there are on this beach (but people are shopping in them or they wouldn’t be here) however Isreal and his gang do a LOT for this beach and get no recognition for it, and they don’t want any. (this is their home and how they are making a living)

We need to support it!!!


February 11, 2013 9:19 am

Is there a family night like before on Monday’s? $1 rentals was great!!
A list of all the specials they have would be great rather than having to “call” that is all over the facebook page.


February 11, 2013 9:16 am

Sounds good so far, I’ll be heading there this week to check it out. Sure I wish it could be cheaper, but we had that and it got closed down. Let’s hope this works out for everybody.


February 11, 2013 9:13 am

Dollar games, dollar shoes, and dollar beer special. . . the place will be packed.

Dare county family

February 11, 2013 9:02 am

Will they still have family bowling night? We used to live taking the family for $30. We could all have fun. I am glad it is open again.


February 11, 2013 8:13 am

I hope the bowling alley does well but they need to look into something to attract families. The previous owners ran specials for locals such as the bowl a game and get a game free for example. I carried my kids there the first week and it cost 50$ for two games. As far as looking at prices from nearby bowling alleys…..this company manages the remainder of them.


February 11, 2013 8:12 am

I take back every negative thing I’ve said about Wings. Well, almost every thing. Still too many of them. But thank you Mr. Golasa.


February 11, 2013 8:04 am

If the food is good I’ll be cleaning the gutters with a bowling ball a lot more often.

Nancy Eckert

February 11, 2013 8:00 am

If you fill up the lanes with leagues, then how about dedicating a night for seniors. We like to,bowl too but are not so much into the chaotic noise associated with leagues. Just a thought.


February 11, 2013 7:24 am

Lets help em out!

sara allen

February 11, 2013 6:51 am

I’m glad it’s open again but I can’t help but hate the “obx” part. It’s Outer Banks.


February 11, 2013 6:19 am

Well if this don’t work count on a wings, Israel Golasa / beach mart owns all the wings and the othere trap stores. I can sse the writing on the wall.

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