Friday, July 17, will mark the end for Dart Bowl, a family-run center in Austin, Texas, that has been in business since 1958. In its current location for 24 years, Dart Bowl co-owner John Donovan said the business – started by his grandparents – can’t escape the financial hole left by COVID-caused closures, especially if the owners want a chance to save their other bowling centers.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “I’ve got people that have worked for us since they were in high school who have kids now. It’s devastating. It’s personally the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and hopefully the hardest thing I ever will have to do.”
Donovan and his business partners qualified for a federal Paycheck Protection Loan, but the money ran out quickly. The owners also spent money on new safety devices and state-of-the-art cleaning equipment, and left every other lane open to promote social distancing, reported the Austin American-Statesman.
“We’ve weathered recessions and high gas prices,” Donovan said. “This is so different because it’s keeping people away. It’s unique, and I hope we all get through it. But, boy, it’s going to put a lot of people out of business, I’m afraid.”