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, 2018-06-27 19:11:15
LAS CRUCES – The city’s only bowling alley appears to be going out of business, but the owner is not talking about it.
10 Pin Alley, located at 1201 E. Amador Avenue, was open for normal business hours on Wednesday morning and families were seen bowling, but the video game area had been cleared out. An employee who did not identify herself told a reporter, “We haven’t been told anything.”
Owner Randy Najar was not present and has not responded to several requests for an interview.
The pool hall next door, Q-Time, was open for business while pool tables were being disassembled and loaded onto a truck. A handful of visitors were seated at the bar as an employee, identified simply as Mike, served drinks and helped workers clear equipment from the business. A beer distributor removed neon signs promoting Pabst Blue Ribbon from two walls.
According to Mike, the entire complex including the bowling alley, pool hall and restaurant José Murphy’s, is set to close for good on Saturday. There was, however, no written announcements posted on site, nor on the business’s official Facebook pages.
The alley’s 32 synthetic lanes, upgraded just a year ago, have been home to the Las Cruces chapter of the United States Bowling Congress, the national governing body of bowling, yet association manager Jan Escalante said she had not gotten any confirmation of the rumors either.
“We’re sitting on edge right now until we can hear something,” she said, adding that she had tried to reach Najar but had not heard back.
If 10 Pin Alley closes, Escalante said options for the 14 local leagues are limited. They also play at the Roadrunner Lanes Bowling Center at White Sands Missile Range, but she noted that alley only has 10 lanes.
The USBC celebrated last year’s renovation at the alley, when Najar replaced the wooden lanes with new standard synthetic material that provided more precise rolls, and said he would work with the association to bring tournaments to Las Cruces with his state-of-the-art facility.
District court documents indicate that Randy Najar Land Company, the limited liability company owning the Amador Ave. property, was facing foreclosure on a $2.3 million business loan from U.S. Bank, according to an order signed by Judge Marci Beyer in April 2017.
Yet weeks later, the bowling alley was undergoing renovations, including new pin-setting and ball-return machinery and flooring, with Najar expressing optimism about bringing a new generation of bowlers into the alley as well as more competitive play.
Since the closure of My Brother’s Place in 2016, Q-Time was also the last pool hall standing in town, but by Wednesday evening the billiard tables were gone, and the refrigerator behind the bar was down its last bottles of beer. Unless renewed this week, the liquor license belonging to Najar’s company is due to expire on June 30.
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