Bowling is coming back to the West Bank.
A group of local investors expects to open Westside Lanes in February at 3715 West Bank Expressway in Harvey.
Erich Weishaupt, co-owner of the Ruby Slipper restaurant in New Orleans, and Hoang Cao, Max Bourgeois and other silent partners started a $2.5 million renovation of the roughly 15,000-square-foot building next to the Four Columns banquet hall earlier this year.
Westside Lanes will have 20 lanes, a full-service bar and an attached restaurant, Weishaupt said.
The building is the former home of Westside Bowl, which shut down before Hurricane Katrina. The West Bank hasn’t had a bowling alley since the storm.
“It was one of three bowling alleys that never reopened after Katrina,” Weishaupt said.
He said his group is happy to bring bowling back to the West Bank and is betting there are enough casual and league bowlers to make Westside Lanes a success.
“We do want to cater to leagues and league bowlers,” he said. “From what we hear, there are between 1,600 and 1,700 league bowlers on the West Bank that go to Kenner now. It’s really something that’s been missing for the West Bank.”
Weishaupt said the new lanes, installed by Los Angeles-based Murrey Bowling Equipment, will have a modern look and feel, while the restaurant will have a more retro atmosphere.
While the bar will provide craft beer and cocktail service to bowlers, Weishaupt said Westside is not part of the boutique bowling trend, and the restaurant will serve pizza, sandwiches and appetizers.
He said Westside Lanes also will host reunions and parties and will soon begin making league and event arrangements on its Facebook page.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.