Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bowling Us Over: Pins Alley’s winning formula

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Pins Bowling Alley, formerly known as Granbury Lanes, has been a staple of local entertainment since its inception in the 1980s. Under the ownership of Josh Jensen, Pins continues to offer a fun and engaging outlet for families and individuals alike.

Jensen, whose family owns Newscope Marketing for Ford Motor Company, saw an opportunity to bring more entertainment options to the area. "Honestly, it was for sale and the price was pretty reasonable," Jensen said. "There really wasn't much for families to do in Granbury, so it seemed like a great opportunity to provide a place for people to come together and have fun."

After acquiring the bowling alley from Maureen Wolf, Jensen made significant changes. "When we took it over, we wiped out the entire place, went in with a bobcat, and leveled every wall," he explained. "We entirely redid the layout, repositioned the kitchen and bar, and raised the ceilings. The pinsetters are the original Brunswick A2s from 1957, which adds a nostalgic touch."

Pins Bowling Alley is busiest on Mondays, Thursdays, and weekends. "We keep pretty busy during weeknights with leagues," Jensen noted. "We have two senior leagues on Monday and Friday, mixed leagues on Monday and Wednesday nights, and we're starting a youth clinic this July."

Despite the constant need for maintenance and repairs, Jensen credits his team's dedication for the alley's smooth operation. "I have a great team of managers who help keep everything running," he said. "It's a blessing. I have a food and beverage manager who runs the kitchen.  I have a head mechanic in the back, a manager at the front desk, and an indispensable lead bartender.”

One of Pins' most popular attractions is Glow Bowl, held on Friday and Saturday nights. Jensen, who grew up in the picturesque landscapes of Washington with its stunning mountain and forest views, reminisced, “We used to enjoy the outdoors during the summer without melting in the heat. Incorporating Glow Bowl at Pins in Granbury was a no-brainer. It's a big draw."

In addition to bowling, Pins serves delicious food with a diverse menu ranging from appetizers to gourmet sandwiches to pizza. There is live music on Thursday nights and various digital games like archery and castle destruction, appealing to both kids and adults. The alley also hosts numerous fundraisers, supporting local sports teams and community members in need.

Running a bowling alley comes with its challenges, especially with Texas' heat affecting the AC units and the aging pinsetters requiring constant attention. However, Jensen finds great joy in the community aspect of the business. "I've met a lot of good people and regulars who are genuinely nice," he said. "I enjoy the freedom of not having a nine-to-five job and the unique hours that come with running a bowling alley."

Looking ahead, Jensen has plans for the extra property adjacent to the bowling alley. "We've deliberated on putting in some batting cages," he shared, highlighting his commitment to expanding the recreational offerings for Granbury residents.

Jensen and his wife, Brittni have a six-month-old son; they appreciate the family-friendly environment Pins Bowling Alley has helped to foster. "My son will definitely grow up bowling, but whatever sport he wants to play is great," Josh Jensen said.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges, but Pins Bowling Alley weathered the storm. "We were able to maintain some staff and do to-go orders," Jensen recalled. "The PPP funding helped keep everyone on payroll, and after reopening, 2021 and 2022 were some of our best years ever. People were eager to come back out and have fun."

Through dedication, community support, and a passion for providing a fun and safe environment, Jensen has turned Pins Bowling Alley into a beloved local institution. As he continues to innovate and expand, Pins remains a cornerstone of entertainment in Granbury, bringing joy to families and individuals for years to come.

For more information about Pins Bowling Alley, visit https://pinsbowlingalley.com