Sophie Bolich

Vliet Street Bowling Alley To Reopen

Formerly Sanders Super Bowl, eight-lane bowling alley could reopen as Barry's Senior Bowling by this summer.

By - May 3rd, 2023 07:24 pm
Site of Barry's Senior Bowling, 3827 W. Vliet St. Photo taken May 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Barry’s Senior Bowling, 3827 W. Vliet St. Photo taken May 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Sanders Super Bowl, a long-standing bowling alley located along the Vliet Street Corridor, is slated to reopen with a new name and owner.

Barry Henley would open Barry’s Senior Bowling at 3827 W. Vliet St., bringing family-friendly entertainment, food and alcoholic drinks to the neighborhood.

Originally opened by Freddie Sanders in 1968, Sanders Super Bowl operated for decades in the neighborhood before its closure amid the pandemic. Sanders continued as owner until his retirement at age 80. At the time, he was one of just two African American bowling alley owners in the state, according to an interview with the Near West Side Partners.

Stephan Lesure took over the business from Sanders in 2018.

Five years later, Henley, the new owner, has paid $155,000 for the business, according to a license application. And though he is the sole owner, Henley said his daughter Jalayla Henley Brown contributed startup money for the upcoming business.

Henley brings industry experience to this venture from his time as owner of the now-closed Working Class tavern, 1816 W. Fond Du Lac Ave.

Barry’s Senior Bowling would occupy a 4,250-square-foot building containing eight full-sized bowling alleys, five amusement machines, one pool table, a jukebox and a dart board. Henley also plans to offer DJs, dancing and karaoke for guests.

In addition to a full bar, the bowling alley would offer concession-style snacks including chicken wings, pizza and hot dogs. The business expects to generate 40% of revenue from alcohol sales, 40% from entertainment, 15% from food and the remaining 5% from cigarette sales.

The building itself is owned by Vliet Ventures LLC, which lists Pete Cooney (of Pete’s Pops) as its registered agent.

Once open, Barry’s would operate Sunday through Thursday from noon until 1 a.m. and Friday through Saturday from noon until 2 a.m., according to a license application.

Henley did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Aside from the upcoming bowling alley, the Near West Side area has seen a number of developments in recent years, with more still on the horizon.

Pete’s Pops and neighboring Triciclo Peru, which opened in 2018 and 2019, respectively, have bolstered the dining scene in the Martin Drive neighborhood.

The owners of Triciclo Peru are also planning a nearby food park, Minka. The new attraction would bring a variety of food vendors, an indoor bar and an entertainment space to the community. Minka is expected to open this summer.


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