Bowling alley proposed for downtown SLO

April 4, 2015

An out-of-area developer has submitted plans to transform the former downtown San Luis Obispo Sports Authority space into a bowling alley, restaurant and live music venue. [Tribune]

Jeremy Pemberton filed for a conditional-use permit to allow alcohol to be served past 11 p.m. at the 24,500-square-foot space located on the corner of Chorro and Marsh streets. Pemberton owns a similar entertainment venue in Ventura, Discovery Ventura.

Plans for Discovery San Luis Obispo include a 14-lane bowling alley, a restaurant and a bar and banquet area.

In about three months, Pemberton is expected to take his plans before the planning commission.

Discovery Ventura

Discovery Ventura

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I LOVE the idea of a downtown bowling alley! I would definitely use the facility…and I think it would be a great venue for our disabled and Special Olympics folks to have something available for their activities. Would be great for FAMILIES to utilize!! es.

Discovery Venues in not really about bowling, but a nightclub that has bowling as one if its many options. There is food, a full bar, music and dancing, and yes bowling (with the pins manipulated with strings instead of a pin setting machine). Attended a company party that rented out the entire Ventura site for a night, lot’s of fun, but it’s really just an entertainment venue for grown ups.

If the Ventura facility is any indication, looks like a very cool place.


The target market for this operation isn’t going to be fat smokers in oversized shirts. It’s going to be college students who’ll do a bit of bowling while they do a great deal of drinking.

The bowling alley part is fine — better than another empty storefront. The hard alcohol-serving part is only going to further Downtown SLO into a vomit-splotched cesspool.

There aren’t enough fat people in SLO to support a bowling alley.

Actually, San Luis Obispo’s first bowling alley was downtown. Laurel Lanes came later. They were both fun and great places to go with your family.

It was on Santa Rosa street between Higuera and Marsh. I’ll never forget the day my dad took me there for the first time. They had kids, who acted as pinsetters, and got to bowl for free when they weren’t working. At the time, I thought that would be a great job. Laurel Lanes was another great place. Pete Columbo did a good job running the place and there was a bar and a coffee shop. Later in life, my dad had a team in the bowling league and we bowled together on Monday nights. It was a great way to meet new people and spend time with your family. I hope this projects sails through the permitting process. It will be a way for more families to enjoy the times that I had growing up.

“El Camino Bowl” at 1115 Santa Rosa Street.

Thanks. I couldn’t remember the name of it but I can remember it vividly.

All the bowlers have died or left town when the last one closed several years ago.

Billiards and bowling is out, bar scene/restaurants are in…. that should make it about

20-25 bars downtown. I long for the old San Luis days of the 70’s 80’s.

Knew it was controversial somehow.

Actually I think Cal Poly’s bowling alley continues to do a good business after all these years…

This is great for Downtown, love it!

Maybe he ought to go to Atascadero and revamp their old bowling alley building that now sits empty.

Typical of San Luis. We had a bowling alley, in a good location with plenty of parking that was family friendly but we closed it. Now, someone wants to come in and put in a downtown hipster version.

The is a multi-story parking structure directly across the street from this proposed bowling alley.

There’s sufficient parking.

“We” didn’t close Laurel Lane Bowling Alley. The owner sold it.

A lot of bowling alleys closed, including a relatively new one in Atascadero. Laurel Lanes was facing millions in equipment replacement costs that didn’t pencil out. The value of the land it sat on did. If you wants bowling back then get on board and be glad that’s there’s a proposal. If you want to micromanage it then YOU finance it and do it.

Well said. This place won’t be developed unless they can secure a liquor license. In a way it’s sad that a bowling alley can’t make it (for the reasons you mentioned) unless it serves A LOT of alcohol but to be quite candid, the damage is largely already done in Downtown SLO in that regard.