Chalet Bowl, located in the heart of the Proctor District in Tacoma, has been up and running since 1941.
The 12-lane bowling alley is the oldest operating bowling alley in Washington, said Alyson Frederick, daughter-in-law of owners Reggie and Nancy Frederick. Reggie and Nancy have owned Chalet bowl for the last 32 years, and their son Billy and his wife Alyson are co-owners.
Reggie Frederick and his mom, Jackie, who is 84, still bowl together. He said the business has been successful due to the fact that they have a very close relationship with their clients. Jackie still bowls in two leagues a week and has been in a bowling league since she was 25 years old.
â€œWe know everyoneâ€™s name, and I like watching our guests have a great time,â€ said Reggie, who started working for a bowling center 49 years ago when he was 13.
An All-American bowler who used to bowl 100 games a week, Reggie put himself through Washington State University working in bowling alleys.
â€œI worked for Earl Anthony (the late professional bowling star) years ago, started out babysitting his kids, and then ran his bowling centers in California,â€ said Reggie.
He described Chalet Bowl as a melting pot where the clientele turnover is minimal.
Garry Ranck, who is 75 years old, said he enjoys the senior league at Chalet.
Ranck, who said he walks 100 miles a month and now bowls with his left hand due to surgery on his right arm, said, â€œThe senior league is great. All that hard competition is gone and everyone roots for everyone.â€
Dennis Behnke recently moved to Tacomaâ€™s North End from Renton and said he has made a lot of friends by joining the senior league. When asked if he was a pretty good bowler, Behnke joked, â€œIâ€™ll tell you at the end of the game.â€
Eighty-two year old George West has been a bowler for 40 years. Retired from Boeing since 1989, West said bowling is more of a social event for him.
Chalet Bowlâ€™s kitchen serves hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, six tap beers (five of which are craft beers), Washington wines and Pepsi products.
The Wednesday morning leagues are finished for the summer, but the fall and winter session will start on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. Anyone interested in joining the Wednesday morning fall league can e-mail Reggie Frederick at Reggie@Chaletbowl.com.
Joan Cronk wrote this article. She is a freelance writer.