The building at 628 W. David Street in Morton has been a bowling alley since it was established in 1965. Up until this year, there really hadn’t been a lot of changes made to the 16-lane facility.
When lifelong bowlers Richard and Diane Jones bought it last November, they decided to make those changes. After some renovations and a fresh coat of paint, the bowling alley reopened on February 1, 2019 with better hours, an updated look and a new name.
The former Safari Bowl is now Potter’s Alley. According to Diane, the name seemed to fit the town, but there is a personal reason for the name change, too.
“It just kind of made sense as we mulled through the different names, we liked the Morton pottery connection,” said Diane. “It wasn’t geared toward the school teams, it was geared toward the history of the town. But we also have that name in our family, so it kind of worked out.”
Something else that has been working out for the Joneses is the bowling alley’s updated menu. Since Diane has a food service background, she and Richard also expanded the kitchen and bar area to provide a full-service restaurant serving a wider variety of food and beverages.
“We have pizza and hamburgers and the whole nine yards,” said Diane. “We tried to take it a step above what you’d normally find in a bowling alley.”
The Joneses, who are only the third owners of the building and the business in its 54-year history, had a chance to show off their hard work at a ribbon cutting and open house last Tuesday, July 2.
Diane said there’s still work to be done, including the installation of a wheelchair accessible ramp from the concourse area to the bowling area. That project is still in the planning stages, but should be starting by the end of this year, or early 2020.
Diane and Richard are the parents of a nine-year-old son and both still work full time at Caterpillar, but they spend a lot of their off-time at their new place of business and leisure.
“We don’t have time to sleep,” joked Diane. “We rely heavily on our really good crew that works here. It’s a lot more work than we ever thought it was going to be, but it’s all in a good way.”
Potter’s Alley offers many different options for the bowling enthusiast, including Glow Bowl, League bowling for both adults and children, Moonlight Bowl, Sunday Funday bowling, (when everyone bowls for $1.50 per game), and affordable birthday party packages, which Diane mentioned keeps them pretty busy.
If you have time to “spare”, stop in, grab a bite to eat and bowl a game or two. For more information, hours and events, check out their website atwww.mortonpottersalley.com.