Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004

« New board prez calls for full-time staffing of Engine 4 | Main | The View From Prospect Hill »

January 11, 2008



I'll be sad to see Bowl Haven go, but agree that it's probably time to move on. It, along with Speedy Pizza and the Somerville Theater, constituted the destination of many a high school Friday night date.

For a while during the late 50s and early 60s, my father used to work there part-time on weekends repairing the pinsetters, covering the counter, etc. Among his recollections, he speaks even today of knowing what Tip O'Neil's shoe size was from when he and his son Tom used to walk over from their house on Russell St. to bowl a few strings on Saturdays.

For me as a little kid, it was cool seeing the mechanism of the pin setters work from behind the wall.

Notwithstanding its closure, the Sacco family should be thanked for providing so many generations of locals a great recreational venue, and for their contributions to the community's culture.



I think there are many who will be sorry to see Bowl Haven go. I can remember bowling there with my friends when I was in 4th grade. And my kids have bowled there, and had birthday parties there. And I don't think anyone realizes that the Sacco Family has been very good to many community events. Several years ago when several friends of Ryan Sullivan wanted to raise funds for a scholarship the Sacco family not only donated the space for a bowling fundraiser but also donated many valuable raffle prizes. I think it will be missed not only because of its' history, but because it is so valuable as a place to go - especially for the young and the elderly, and anyone looking for some fun and exercise on a budget. It is really the last place left in the city for indoor recreation that's fun for all ages (movie theaters don't count - no interaction or exercise there!). And although the prospective buyer says she will keep several lanes, it seems like most of the plan will be devoted to drinking coffee, going online, and art exhibits, all (NOT) very unique offerings in Davis Square. And I must say that I found her comment that 'the guest rooms would not be rentable by the hour' a little offensive. Maybe it was her attempt at a joke, but I think it speaks volumes to her feelings toward Somerville and her plans for the space.
If I won the lottery today, I'd purchase Bowl Haven and keep it exactly as it is! Any investors out there???


Sorry: I have actually heard that comment about renting rooms by the hour from others (I think on this message board). The people making such comments were speculating about how poorly a hotel would do in Davis Square, and how it would end up being rented by the hour. So to be fair to the prospective buyer, I think she made that comment as a defense, not to be offensive.

I agree, we don't need another coffee shop. I would prefer a bowling alley / pool hall type thing if it were upgraded a little to make it more enticing. I'm not excited about a hotel coming to Davis Square.

loves to bowl

I don't understand why it's necessary to create "unique spaces and services" where they already exist. I'd much rather see a buyer succeed who wants to keep the bowling alley and make it a little more lucrative. I know I'd go a lot more if they had food and drinks. There really are enough community space type businesses in Davis, we really just need a cool place to hang out.

Ron Newman

I'd love to see the bowling alley stay, but it's quite obvious that the Saccos want to leave the business after many decades of faithful service. I can't in any way blame them for this decision.

If someone else thinks they can keep Bowl-Haven going while paying whatever price the Saccos are asking, they'd better show up quickly.


Awwww...just wicked pissa! Just what we all need -- another libaloon inspired business. Let's see a "connection center", still some bowling/pool, a memorial to the Saccos and a hotel. Where is she going to put all that?

Also, the moonbat vision to "..enhance the creative/renaissance lifestyle..." I almost spilled my beer laughing. You just can't make stuff up this good. If you moonbats didn't exist I swear I'd have to create you... just for the entertainment value alone.

Oh... and the hotel! She better charge per hour as that's the only way those rooms are getting used. Who goes to Davis and actually wants to stay overnight? No one.

Ron Newman

It's fine to criticize, Imux, but can you come up with a plan that's economically feasible and keeps the bowling alley intact, while letting the Sacco family exit the business and get a fair price for their property?


Yes. They should sell the property to the highest bidder regardless of what is to go in there. I have nothing against Trish, but she better focus her plan better and not try to be everything to everyone. In other words, she's better off ignoring you libs and just put something in there that will make her some money.

Ron Newman

I don't think "us libs" have much to say other than "please please keep some of the bowling lanes intact and open". If she can do that and make money, more power to her.

I salute the Saccos for not selling out to CVS or some other big chain.


Ronald, why would you want to tell someone who is buying property what to do with it (keep the bowling lanes!)? Unless they get a liquor license - then bowling lanes will never make anyone enough money to prosper. Want to go bowling? Go to the turnpike lanes up on route 2.

In the meantime, the Saccos should sell for the most cha-ching they can get and move on.

Ron Newman

She's the one who says she wants to keep some lanes. This was her initiative, and presumably was one thing that made her offer attractive to the Sacco family. I agree with you about a liquor license, but the Saccos have always opposed having one.


They should just throw condos up. They'd make a killing. Maybe I'll make a counteroffer.

Frank Bucca

I remember that bowling alley well....

At one time, back in the late 1940's, as teen-agers, I and one of my friends, worked there as as "pin-boys" "the pit", where most of the pins that were knocked down ended up and had to be re-set by hand after each box was completed. Some pins, of course, ended up in the gutters;...and sometimes in the next alley.

Yes---the automatic pin-setters came later; they put pin-boys out of a job. [In retrospect, a blessing in disguise]

Talk about "heat"....some of those "900 pound gorilla" customers....threw fast-balls that would "explode" and/or "splinter" some "wood."
[I came home with the bruises to prove it; from flying pins; or a ball coming into the perch where a pin-boy "cowered" hoping not to get hit either by a pin or a ricoheting ball]

We jumped down from our perch to re-set the pins by hand; and if you weren't paying attention and jumped down too soon, a live thrown ball would serve to remind you of your mistake.

No hourly wages were paid. At that time we were paid .05 cents a customers, no pay!!


D. Jordan Berson

If I had known the building was up for sale, I would have done anything in my power to buy it and KEEP IT 100% AS IS. While it is nice that the new owner wants to memorialize the place with an exhibit, I think there is enough history in museums. I want LIVING history. I want to have an experience, not a photograph. This is really bollocks.

Ron Newman

In that case you'd better hurry up and talk to Joe Sacco within the next few weeks, and make a counter-offer.

Real Estate Market

Mr. Berson makes an interesting comment. Was this building ever put on the market? Or did the proposed new owner simply approach the Saccos about purchasing their property because she saw a chance to pick up some property in Davis Square and make a killing (she can do almost whatever she pleases once she buys the property, regardless of her current plans)? Perhaps if the property were on the market, others would have made offers, too. Perhaps these others would have felt as Mr. Berson does and, outside of some upgrades, leave the business as is. Why not put it on the market and find out? I wish I had a few hundred thousand hanging around......

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Danehy_Park_Family_Day
  • Bloco
  • 3517a
  • Web_toon_7_21_10
  • Prospect hill
  • Web_toon_7_14_10
  • 3224a
  • Art1(2)
  • Art5
  • Art10(2)
  • Union_square_flood
  • Flood_pic_(bridge_1)