By Julie Ann Madden
Akron Lanes bowling alley is a longtime Reed Street fixture but this summer patrons will be hoping for volleyball spikes, not bowling strikes.
When you walk in the front door Friday night, you’ll be in for a big surprise.
Over between the pool table and the dining tables on the east wall, there is now a door.
And it leads to Akron’s newest downtown Reed Street business. Lovrien has fenced in the city’s vacant lot to the east of his building, creating an outdoor social garden.
In addition to a place for patrons to sit back and relax in the outdoor atmosphere, there are sand volleyball courts for league matches.
Lovrien is planning on having three sand volleyball leagues: Coed on Tuesdays; Men’s on Wednesdays; and Women’s on Thursdays.
Sand volleyball matches begins June 10.
Anyone interested in getting a sand volleyball team together and/or being on a team is invited to call Lovrien at 568-3116 for more information and to sign up.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the sand volleyball courts will be open to the general public. Fridays and Saturdays are also reserved for private parties such as birthday parties. Therefore, open volleyball play will begin after the private parties end.
People can call ahead to see if the courts are open or not. Kids are welcome, too.
“This summer Akron Lanes is focused on the outdoor activities,” said Lovrien, adding he may also have sand dodgeball tournaments later in the summer.
The bar will be open as well as food will still be available, said Lovrien.
“Akron Lanes won’t ever have to be closed this long again,” said Lovrien, apologizing to his patrons for being closed the last five weeks for remodeling and repairs.
And if volleyball isn’t your thing, just wait until this fall — Lovrien has been brainstorming all kinds of ideas for Akron Lanes — but he’s keeping those “possibilities” under wraps right now.
The interior has been repainted — in Lovrien’s favorite football team’s colors — the Seattle Seahawks’ blue and green.
In addition, the bowling lanes have been refinished and the bar stools at the counter have been reupholstered.
And that’s just the beginning.
Beginning with Akron-Westfield’s Class of 2013 athletes, Lovrien invites these athletes who go on to play at the collegiate level to bring him a helmet from their college for display at Akron Lanes. He’s looking forward to eventually having a whole shelf of football, baseball or softball collegiate helmets to mark each year he’s in business.
Lovriens thanks Danny, Shawn, Jeff Toben and Gary Horton for all their help with the renovations.
Akron Lanes’ doors open at 3 p.m., Friday.