Demolition on the vacated Town and Country Bowl has begun, with half of the building now in shambles. Neighbors are reflecting on the structure’s fonder times.
“My kids all went over there to bowl and play those pinball machines,” said Beverley Guerrero, 83, of Peoria. “It brings a lot of memories back.”
Guerrero has lived across the street from the alley on West Harper Terrace for more than 50 years. She spent afternoons in the bowling alley with her kids, now in their 50s and 60s, sipping sodas and pulverizing pins.
Guerrero says her neighbors did the same thing, making Town and Country Bowl a valuable place for her local community to spend time.
“It’s a landmark. It really is,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero even remembers when the building was owned by the Piggly Wiggly decades ago.
Second District Peoria City Councilman Chuck Grayeb says a Dollar General will replace the bowling alley.
“On balance I believe it’s a new day for that area that is a critical part of the city,” Grayeb said.
Grayeb says the property, once cleared, will be home to multiple businesses. The nearby sidewalks and landscaping will also be cleaned up.
A cluster of power lines on neighboring roads will be worked on, which is all part of improving an “important of the city,” according to Grayeb.
Guerrero feels the same way and looks forward to seeing her area of Peoria improved. But the memories of neighborhood’s once proud bowling alley are still fresh.
“It’s there today and gone tomorrow,” Guerrero said.