After a hearing, without any objection from the public, the Richland Township Supervisors unanimously granted a liquor license transfer to the new owners of Richland Lanes.
Brothers Chris and Bobby Hogue have a purchase agreement for the bowling alley at 1140 Frances St., and plans to change the venue into 814 Lanes & Games Family Entertainment Center.
The brothers presented their floor plans to township supervisors Monday. The plans are not only for a new bar and restaurant area, but also laser tag and escape rooms to complement the bowling lanes.
“We are going to revamp the whole place,” Bobby Hogue said during the hearing at the Richland Township Municipal building.
A grand opening date for all of the upgrades is tentatively set for some time in October, Hogue said. The brothers also have plans to hire between 40 and 50 people, both part time and full time.
Those employees will include lane service workers and bartenders with Responsible Alcohol Management Training as required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Hogue said.
Richland Lanes currently has a bring your own beer or BYOB policy. Hogue said the liquor license is an improvement over that.
“One of the big questions is about the danger of serving minors. Right now the BYOB policy is unregulated ... We will bring the PLCB; we’ll have trained bartenders with card readers for licenses. And for any special events like Rock-and-Glow, we’ll have wristbands for those who want to drink,” he said.
Supervisors agreed that active liquor license and the accountability required of the owners and employees will be an improvement over the current BYOB policy.
“Sounds better off than it is currently,” Supervisor Brian Lehman said.
Hogue said plans might include the sale of six packs.
Township public works director Ryan Barker, speaking on behalf of his parents who live on Frances Street, aired some complaints about the bowling alley’s current BYOB policy, and asked Hogue how his plan would be different.
“When you live there 365 days a year, you witness things. We might not have a lot of police reports from there, but I know the incidents from living there in the past and my parents living there now,” Barker said.
Barker said there has been drinking and bottles in the parking lot.
Hogue promised changes, including closing at 1 a.m. instead of the current closing hours of 2:30 a.m.
“Nothing good happens at 2:30 a.m,” Hogue said.