Fairway Lanes Anticipated to Open in August After Being Closed and Sold Amid Pandemic Restrictions

Beloved Centralia Bowling Center Renovated Under New Ownership 

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Centralia’s beloved bowling center won’t be shuttered for much longer. 

New Fairway Lanes owners Jeff and Julie Walker said they anticipate holding an official grand opening on Aug. 1. 

“We want the public to be pleasantly surprised when they return to bowling again in the Centralia area,” the Walkers wrote in an email to The Chronicle.  

The Walkers signed the last piece of paperwork to take official ownership of Fairway Lanes on June 4. 

Former owners Steve and Tim Turner gave the Walkers the keys to the bowling center back when they agreed to buy the business in April, and the couple have been quietly working to give the 62-year-old bowling center a “facelift” ever since. 

Renovations include mechanical work on the lanes, plumbing repairs, new flooring in the bathrooms, a new front countertop, a new bar top, new trimming and fresh coats of paint both inside and outside. 

Community members should expect to see a new roadway sign with Fairway Lanes’ new logo installed soon. 

“We can’t wait for the public to see the new look,” the Walkers said. 

Fairway Lanes first shut down on March 17, 2020, in the first wave of state-mandated COVID-19 business closures. While the bowling center briefly reopened in July, the former owners announced on Aug. 20 that due to family health issues and the financial strain caused by the pandemic, they would be shuttering Fairway Lanes for good. The Turners put Fairway Lanes on the market for sale as a bowling center with the hope that new owners would opt to maintain the bowling alley.

At the time, the Walkers were living in the Lacey area operating Big Daddy’s Concessions, which served hamburgers, hot dogs, chili cheese fries, chicken strips, nachos, corn dogs and elephant ears at six ballpark concession stands in the Olympia and Lacey area. After 15 years in business, the Walkers were looking to slow down. 

“As we started to get a little older in age and it started to become more taxing and hard work for us, so we wanted something that would slow it down a little bit,” Jeff Walker said. 

The Walkers learned about Fairway Lanes from Jacob Todd, a family member who lives in the Chehalis area and encouraged the Walkers to talk to the Turners about buying the bowling center. 

“We decided we would jump into this venture and see if it would be a good business decision for us, and I think it will be. One location is better than six locations,” Jeff Walker said. 

As part of their overall renovations to the bowling center, the Walkers are renovating the former cafe, which will be rebranded as a grill to serve the ballpark favorites they sold at Big Daddy’s Concessions. 

The Walkers recently sold their Lacey home and relocated to Chehalis to focus all their attention on getting Fairway Lanes up and running again. 

They intend for the renovations to be finished and the bar and grill to be fully permitted in time for the Aug. 1 grand opening. 

Updates will be posted to Fairway Lanes’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Fairway-Lanes-111526042220724. 

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Marylu Cunning

So thankful for the Turner’s investing in our community. We have missed the bowling alley so much and can’t wait to be able to go there again.

Wednesday, June 9