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Bowling giant AMF hopes to pick up Capitol Hill’s Garage to expand bowling center empire — UPDATE: Bowlero

A longtime staple of Capitol Hill nightlife fun and games appears headed for a big change.

AMF, an operator of bowling and entertainment centers including laser tag arenas, and a manufacturer of bowling equipment, has applied for a liquor license for the acquisition of Broadway’s Garage Bowling and Billiards.

UPDATE: Permitting work indicates the venue will be operated as a Bowlero bowling center and arcade with bar and food service. Hopefully this isn’t bad news for the neighborhood’s pool sharks.

A representative at the Virginia-based company declined to comment on the application and our inquiry to Garage ownership has not yet been answered.

Alex Rosenast and Mike Bitondo founded the Garage two decades ago after a chance run-in with the property’s owner at a Mariner’s game. A company registered to Rosenast now owns the $3 million-plus building home to the alleys and pool hall. There is no record of any property sale at this time. The building is also home to a Vivace coffee bean roasting facility. 

Garage opened in 1996 as a follow up to Rosenast’s first pool hall Temple Billiards. Sandwiched between Seattle University and Seattle Central College and located on the same block as Capitol Hill’s only hotel at the Silver Cloud Inn, the Garage has never struggled to find customers. That allowed for a major expansion in 2003, another expansion in 2008, and the patio buildout in 2013. In addition to its pool hall and two bowling areas, Garage also has seven bars and two kitchens.

The driver behind the interest from AMF is obvious. The company operates bowling centers and a growing suite of entertainment properties across the country including a bowling alley in Salem, Oregon.

Capitol Hill’s collection of game and experience-focused entertainment venues and bars is relatively limited but likely to grow. Axe-tossing (eventual) bar Blade and Timber opened on Broadway in March while 12th Ave’s Rhein Haus showed how the lawn bowling + german beer hall game is played when it opened in 2013.

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9 thoughts on “Bowling giant AMF hopes to pick up Capitol Hill’s Garage to expand bowling center empire — UPDATE: Bowlero

    • Seriously? Every bowling place except for this one is all ages. You have so many options. Why do you have kids on Capitol Hill anyway? Not exactly kid friendly. Move to the suburbs.

      • Ouch. Some of us have kids because we’ve lived here 20 years and like the city. I find it very kid friendly and have friendly, respectful kids.

      • The closest bowling place where kids can go is in West Seattle. And since you didn’t notice, kids have lived on Capitol Hill for all time. There are schools there built in the early 20th century.

        Maybe your should direct your animosity towards the owners of the Garage for selling out and leaving the staff high and dry with no job and no benefits, and for leaving the kid-haters no place to bowl.

    • yay! All the people that hang out here because it’s 21 and over will now have to hang out with fucking children! This company also apparently cleans house when they come in, so 80+ people’s jobs are on the chopping line. And they don’t offer benefits to hourly workers which garage did. And yay! One more corporate piece of shit on Capitol Hill.

      • Well, there’s this thing called “voting with your feet”. The place is there to make money. If people don’t like the atmosphere with too many kids there, stop bowling and drinking and eating there, and if/when the new owners see a precipitous drop in earnings, maybe they’ll re-evaluate. How many people take their kids out bowling till midnight around a bunch of drinkers anyway? Seems like an issue that’ll address itself.