Secret Bowling Alley Gap on the SDMB. Newslink

The Huffington Post gets their Top Secret, hidden, Prohibition Bowling Alley. Why don’t we? {pouts}

If we get wallets hidden in walls, why no secret bowling alleys?

Oh, come now, you remember the big memo that went around letting everyone know about the secret bowling alley here. You can’t have missed it, there was a like HUGE statement in the middle that only the really cool and respected posters could know about it and not to say a word to –
Um. Actually, you know what? You’re right, it’s a real shame about that lack of a secret bowling alley with free bar here at the SDMB. We should get the admins on that right away.

I used to work at a bowling alley. Does that count?

No, unless you were a pin monkey.

It’s not really that unusual. Although bowling alleys in my youth were big buildings set aside (because of the noise?) and usually in malls, in my father’s day bowling alleys were ubiquitous – there were lots of them, much smaller than the ones I knew, and not separated, but close by other neighborhood buildings – people walked everywhere, after all. My father was a pin monkey in such a place.
I’ll wager that the bowling alley they uncovered wasn’t secret, but merely another of these ubiquitous pocket bowling alleys, and was merely overlooked by later owners. That wouldn’t keep it from being a Prohibition-era club, too. Any place where people congregated was a natural site for a speakeasy or a place to sell illicit booze. But that doesn’t mean that the bowling alley itself was hidden.

I grew up in Queens, and I was fascinated by this story. I don’t think I’m familiar with the bowling alley discovered by the authoer, but I know of another underground alley in Queens.

In the late sixties and early to mid-seventies, there was a bowling alley in Jackson Heights, Queens. I think it was called Pinspotters. It was under a row of stores on 37th Avenue, at (if I remember right) 83rd Street. It was a full-scale bowling center, with a number of alleys and a bar. There was even a piano in the bar. It must have run the length of the whole block. It’s been gone for more years than I can remember (it was certainly gone by the time I finished high school, and probably earlier than that), but I used to go there when I was a kid in the neighborhood. I often wondered what happened to it. The space must still be there in some form. Sometimes I would think that it would be an ideal spot in which to open a nightclub. Or even just to reopen as a bowling alley.

Anyone out there from Queens who remembers this place?