AKRON — The bowling alley in Akron is open again, under new owners and a new name.
The Lazy Lanes Bowl & Grill opened its doors on June 13, after being closed since May 2017.
New owners and Akron residents Rachel Nelson and Don Mullinix have put a lot of hard work into getting the business open.
Nelson said it was always her dream to own a business. She has extensive experience in restaurant business in Sioux City and Akron. Her first job was with Applebee’s in Sioux City, where she grew up. Mullinix grew up in Akron.
The couple had toyed with the idea of purchasing the business last fall.
Nelson most recently worked at Pizza Ranch. When that closed in November 2017, she and Mullinix took another look and decided to purchase the bowling alley.
“It was an opportunity that came up and we just snagged it,” Nelson said.
They received the keys to the bowling alley on April 20.
Since then, they have done a lot of refurbishing, with new floors in the public area, including carpet, a small dance floor and the approach. The front wall is now decorated with cut stone.
Mullinix, who has his own construction business, also refurbished the table tops.
“We got that from an old barn that was owned by Edmund Bloom, Chad Harvey’s grandfather,” Nelson said.
“We also put in a new grill and fryers for greater efficiency,” Mullinix said.
The bowling alleys remain the same.
On the east side of the building, a sand volleyball court was taken out. It is now a concrete dining area, with space for a beer garden, smoking area and a place to play horseshoes.
“We stamped it out for a corn hole court (bean bag games),” Nelson said. “We may even get a league started.”
“We are also looking at having bands outdoors during the summer, an age 21 and over area after 9 p.m.,” Nelson said.
They are looking forward to having sanctioned bowling leagues start up in the fall. There are six lanes in the bowling alley.
“We’re looking at two men’s leagues and one women’s league. We would also like to start a mixed league and children’s league down the road,” Mullinix said.
Still another plan is to have a dart league.
“We want this to be a place that is family oriented,” Nelson said.
Nelson will use her extensive food service experience every day with help from their children, Zoe, Laken, Alayna and Sam as well as employees, Spencer Olson as main cook, Brooke Koele, Jordan Neubrand, and Carson James. Youngest daughter Maya has been spending time at the business, too.
“Our soft opening wasn’t very soft. It was just awesome. I’m still smiling about it,” Nelson said.
“We are very humbled, very surprised and grateful it felt like we hosted a four-day graduation party. It’s been fantastic,” Nelson said.
The couple lived in Sioux City before moving to Akron in 2004.
“Probably one of the best decisions we ever made, coming to a small town. Our kids have thrived. I’m not sure they would have had the same opportunities in a bigger city. I won’t go back. I’ll be small town forever,” Nelson said.
Hours are 11 a.m to 11 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday; and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday. Nelson said the hours are subject to change. She also looks to host children’s events such as birthday parties.
“We’re taking baby steps,” Mullinix said.
“I think everybody’s happy to see us back,” Nelson said.
She adds they are planning a grand opening soon.