NEW HARTFORD — The idea for a PiNZ bowling alley was not necessarily about bowling.
Rather, PiNZ CEO David Breen envisioned the hybrid bowling alley, arcade and restaurant as more of an entertainment venue than a dedicated bowling center.
“If you come here and you’re a league bowler and you expect this to be a new league house, this is not the place,” Breen said. “We’re here for fun, we’re here for business, we’re here for entertainment.”
By the end of May — or the first week of June, worst-case scenario — PiNZ will open at Sangertown Square, with outdoor sitting options, a restaurant and an arcade.
On Tuesday, crews were still setting up the arcade machines and building the skeleton of the interior. The 10 lanes are already set — they are colored blue — and above the pin-setting machines will stretch one large television screen.
There also will be a sitting area just before the lanes, and soon crews will set up diamond-tufted couches in the area where guests will be able to eat and drink as they bowl.
In addition, neon lighting that can change color will illuminate the lanes and make for a unique bowling experience, Breen said.
“We have a whole light show they’re starting to install,” Breen said. “It’s really, really cool.”
Food, arcade, outdoors
Preceding the hardwood area is an arcade into which Breen said PiNZ invested almost a million dollars.
On Tuesday, the arcade floor was filled with machines — many of them functional, bright and flashing. Included in those machines is a Connect Four game played with full-sized basketballs, a full virtual reality machine and a 13-foot-tall crane game.
And next to the arcade will be an outdoor patio that crews began constructing Tuesday.
The outdoor patio, which will include a nearby bar, will cover more than 3,000 square feet, Breen said, replete with dangling string lights and a 20- by 30-foot multipurpose court to use for recreational games such as cornhole.
“It’s really going to be eye catching from the road,” he added. “Having that patio lit up and everything is really going to be nice and attracting.”
There will also be a restaurant that faces the mall corridor. It will extend about 7 or 8 feet into the mall’s corridor and will be exposed to passersby.
The restaurant will sit about 100 people, Breen said. The restaurant’s bar, which will serve mostly New York beers in its 25 taps, will seat 35. They will serve a menu heavy with appetizers, burgers, pizzas — a typical pub-style restaurant with a full cooking line.
“We’re not bowling alley food,” Breen added. “Food and beverage is a major portion of our business.”
PiNZ will hire 125 employees, Breen said. They hope to open by May 29 and expect to be open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Victoria Orilio, marketing director for Sangertown Square, said that an interactive entertainment venue was part of a new, creative direction the mall is pursuing.
“We want to be a place for the community so people don’t just shop,” she said. “They eat, they are looking for entertainment, that is the next step.”
The acquisition of Billy Beez in 2016 brought a child-friendly play area to the mall; PiNZ is an extension of that thought brought to adults, she said. PiNZ is located in the Macy’s wing, next to Victoria’s Secret.
Though Breen did not detail an exact price for the entire facility, he did say they had “quite a bit” invested in the 20,000-plus square foot space.
“We’re in here for the long haul,” Breen said. “It’s something we expect to be here for quite some time.”