Change is coming to a bustling West San Fernando Valley neighborhood, a mix of homes, strip malls and fast food eateries.
In this case, change is good. And it makes sense.
Canoga Park Bowl, a fixture at the southwest corner of Winnetka Avenue and Vanowen Street for 56 years, is getting a new name, the Winnetka Bowl, and a new look.
It’s a fitting choice since the bowling alley is in the community of Winnetka. Canoga Park is several blocks to the west.
The Gelb Group, which owns the bowling alley and the adjacent Best Western Motel, is in the midst of a remodeling project that will give the property an updated feel. The bowling alley was built in 1958 and the motel added four years later.
“We’re trying to improve the look and feel of the building. It’s a little old and just needed some tender loving care,” said Wendy Moskal, Gelb’s vice president.
Interior renovations include an arcade and sports room, billiard room and renaming the bowling alley’s bar Lane 33.
“We have 32 lanes and its kind of like the 19th hole on the golf course. And it’s got a new floor and bar lighting,” Moskal said.
The owner of the Village Cafe restaurant is also updating his space.
The renovations to the 46-room motel will upgrade it to Best Western Plus status, she said.
Exterior improvements so far include installing five planter islands with tall, lighted palm trees in the parking lot.
Gelb hopes to have the project completed by the end of the year, Moskal, said, but the timing on the name change is unclear. The company has applied to the city for a new neon sign and that could be approved in the next six to eight weeks.
“It’s going to be a place where you can spend a nice afternoon or evening,” Moskal said of the new look for the old bowing alley.