A New Life for the Bowling Alley

“I’ve always had a passion for the sport of bowling,” Logan Kalinoski said.

His love of the sport started when he was only eight years old and continued into his adult years.

Then one day, the local bowling alley came up for sale.

He and his wife, Jackie, started dreaming about possibilities. “We had long talks about it, praying over it, thinking about it all the time,” Jackie said.

“If we don’t do it…”

The dreaming came to a head one day when she was sitting at the stoplight in her car and looking at the bowling alley. Something sparked in her as she looked at the shuttered business. “I thought to myself, ‘man, it’s really a special spot here, and we don’t want to see this go away.’ So finally, I went to Logan and said, ‘if we don’t do it somebody else will.’”

The couple decided to take the plunge and purchased the business in 2021. They brought several skills to the endeavor that have helped them achieve the success they are seeing today.

Using their talents

Logan was an experienced carpenter and had small business experience as the owner of Farmers Insurance. Jackie had been a nurse for 17 years and was good at managing people. On top of that, Logan had been experimenting with making pizza at home, and he had developed some serious pizza-making skills.

Upon purchasing the business, they immediately set to work renovating the building. They were able to open for league bowling in November of 2022 and a few months later opened it up to the public.

Once they were open for bowling, they turned their attention to creating a pizza menu. Logan felt it was important to offer true brick oven style pizza, so they brought in a special oven from Italy. After testing with family and friends, Logan developed a pizza menu. “We had a big taste testing crew for a while because we wanted to do it right,” Logan said.

“We’re making pizza right and left,” he quipped. “It’s a lot of fun and complements bowling very well.”

What keeps us going

“What keeps us going is seeing families get together,” Jackie said. “People make memories. You get to be a part of someone’s birthday party, family reunion, or wedding reception. You help people make memories. That’s what keeps us going.”

When asked what words of wisdom they would have for someone starting a business, Logan said, “make sure you use your talents. Make sure you can put that to work for yourself, and you better have one heck of a work ethic and want to work a lot.”

Jackie stressed the importance of understanding your potential workforce and even being willing to learn from your employees. “We’ve got some great people. Their skills have been invaluable to us. Also, being willing to learn, being grateful for what you have and for the people who come in.”

Visit Southtown Lane’s Facebook page for more information. 

Starting your own business? Advance Thief River offers business coaching and business navigation services. Read more here.

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