Too often we hear that Aiken doesn’t have enough to do, especially for young people.
But some great news for Aiken arrived last week with the announcement that Park Avenue Lanes plans to reopen later this year.
The bowling alley, a fixture in Aiken for decades, was closed in 2013 when a storm caused the roof to collapse.
Now owner Danny Zielinski has started demolition and hopes to reopen in six to eight months. With the closure of StrikeHouse Bowl on Whiskey Road in late 2017, Aiken has been without a bowling alley for more than two years.
Park Avenue Lanes will fill a need for the community and give residents another entertainment option.
“Aiken needs a place for families to go for entertainment,” Zielinski told the Aiken Standard. “Aiken has supported the bowling center in the past, and I hope they will continue to in the future.”
It’s also important that Park Avenue Lanes is staying in its current location at the corner of Park Avenue and Orangeburg Street. On the eastern fringe of downtown, the business is in the midst of the former warehouse district and hopefully will give the area a boost.
That area of town also has been in the news this month with Aiken City Council recently voting on first reading to allow "more flexibility" in Aiken's Light Industrial Zone District. The proposal would also add a Planned Mixed Use Industrial District.
Convenience, department, retail and other types of stores would be permitted under "special exception" in the Light Industrial Zone, which is comprised of Richland and Park avenues and the York Street/Railroad corridor.
Throw in the proposed new location for the Aiken Steeplechase Association near the eastern end of Richland Avenue, and it all adds up to good news for a part of Aiken that has often lagged behind other parts of the city when it comes to development.