Bowling Alley Considers Space in Georgetown Mall
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 02:10
Pinstripes, a restaurant chain that also offers bowling and bocce, may be among the new tenants of the soon-to-be-renovated Shops at Georgetown Park.
The restaurant has submitted a proposal to the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment to build a new venue in the mall and hopes to open within a year.
Pinstripes locations’ fine-dining atmospheres, complete with a wine cellar and upscale decor, set them apart from the traditional bowling venue, according to founder and CEO Dale Schwartz.
“We’re very, very different. We’re just a … quality venue that is unlike any other out there,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said that he seeks to replicate the ambience of high-end hotels such as the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton.
According to Schwartz, Georgetown is an ideal location for Pinstripes because of the nature of the neighborhood.
“We tend to look for high-quality markets with residential communities that have an appreciation for sophisticated fun,” Schwartz said.
Not everyone shares Schwartz’s enthusiasm for a bowling alley in Georgetown, however. As reported in local blog DCist, some residents, such as David Miller, are concerned with the consequences of developing a bowling alley in Georgetown.
“As recreation, it’s a great idea. But there are three main concerns: noise, noise and noise,” he told DCist. “I don’t believe there’s any concern at all about the who, what, where it is in that mall and the impact it may have on the residents above it.”
In particular, many residents who live in the condominiums in the upper levels of the Shops at Georgetown Park worry about the noise and the vibrations from a game of bowling.
“In every one of our locations, we get concerns,” Schwartz said. “It’s mostly people that really don’t initially fully understand how different we really are from any bowling or, for that matter, entertainment venue. In every location we’ve done, after we’ve simply talked to the local residents and anybody else about the issues, we’ve in every case been able to get people very comfortable with what we are doing.”
Currently, Washington only has one bowling alley open to the public: Lucky Strike in Chinatown. Unlike Pinstripes, Lucky Strike offers the more traditional bowling alley staples of pizza and tacos.
If the BZA approves the proposal, the Georgetown location will be Pinstripes’ fifth venue in the United States. Pinstripes currently has three restaurants in Illinois and one in Minnesota.
Schwartz also indicated interest in expanding to multiple locations in the metropolitan area.
“Over time we would consider doing one other, maybe two other, locations in the Virginia-Maryland-D.C. area,” Schwartz said.