After 53 years, White Bear Bowl reaches the end of the alley

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It might've seemed like the good times would just keep rolling at White Bear Bowl. But the lanes are shutting down for the final time as 2014 ends.

The bowling alley has been a landmark on Cedar Ave. in White Bear Lake for more than half a century and employee Layne Kirk tells the Pioneer Press it will be missed:

"It's been here forever, and people have been coming here forever. You still have old people who come in talk about when ... there used to be fine dining and dancing here ... . People used to line up around the corner ... . I have heard so many stories about how great this place used to be."

Kirk tells the Pioneer Press the building has been sold to a new owner who plans to tear it down and build an assisted-living residence.

White Bear Bowl's Facebook page confirms the business is closing for good at midnight Dec. 31 and thanks customers for the last 53 years.

Indeed, the Comedy Central TV series "Let's Bowl" used White Bear Bowl as the setting for some of the retro-themed shows the network produced early in the last decade.

While around-the-corner lines and fine dining may only be memories, it's premature to think that Minnesota bowling is headed for the gutter.

Here's a nine-page alphabetical list of bowling alleys across the state. A few years back WCCO offered its picks for the best in the Twin Cities. And earlier this month 'CCO's Mike Max visited the state high school bowling tournament, where professional bowler Pete Weber was a guest of honor.

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