And The Menzingers in the April 27 Consequence of Sound piece entitled “The Greatest American Music Venues” — that asked performers to name their favorite venue — said of Asbury Lanes, “Its unique layout, incredible staff, killer stage, and rich history all contribute to The Lanes as an unparalleled staple for independent music. Oh, and it’s a block from the ocean.”
But the venue is now closed as renovations to the Fourth Avenue structure are underway by waterfront redeveloper iStar, which owns the building.
Among fans of the 1960s-era bowling alley/music and arts venue, there’s much interest in how iStar will handle the rehabilitation project for the building. We asked iStar’s Senior Vice President of Land and Development Brian Cheripka [at right below] for an update.
Cheripka: iStar is committed to preserving the iconic Asbury Lanes, which has played a vital role in Asbury Park’s history and serves as a primary source of inspiration for the town’s renaissance. We aim to reopen the Lanes in 2017 and when it reopens, we promise it will be a new and improved version of itself– a hub of creativity celebrating original music, art, film and fashion.
Asbury Park Sun: Are the lanes themselves being preserved for re-installment — including the vintage equipment, such as the machinery where the pins rest?
Cheripka: Everything that could be saved, was saved to be incorporated into the next phase. The mechanical equipment that operated the lanes could not be saved, but new machines will be brought in. The front end equipment, such as ball returns, pinsetters, etc. was all saved in an effort to reinstall it and make the customer experience similar to what is was in the past.
Asbury Park Sun: Are there any other items being preserved?
Cheripka: Absolutely. We went through great efforts to save everything that could be saved. iStar actually retained a professional organizer to come into Asbury Lanes and catalog every item, from bowling balls to posters, to sections of the green room walls which were cut out and placed in storage. We have it all. Neatly cataloged and stored at an off-site facility. Our goal is to utilize many of the items in the redesign of the venue.
Asbury Park Sun: And what’s not being preserved?
Cheripka: Only things that couldn’t be saved, such as the old bar and kitchen equipment, which was no longer code compliant. We also need to replace the roof, repair the existing walls, replace the bathrooms, heating and air conditioning equipment, etc.
In the meantime, the Asbury Lanes family will host a series of Pop Up events throughout the city this summer, according to a recent Facebook post.
“We can’t sleep because of the excitement over the premier of the Yard Dogs Road Show documentary in New Jersey,” the Facebook post read. “They wanted to show it at the Lanes since we used to be a regular stop on the tour, but since the building is under renovations, we will be hosting this “pop up” screening at The Showroom [@theshowroomcinema] in Asbury Park.
iStar’s plans include the addition of 23 additional parking spaces, a new roof, construct interior walls, update the kitchen and its ventilation system, the restroom facilities, lighting, signage and an ADA compliant ramp along the front of the structure that will have a balcony effect to allow patrons to congregate.
The project architect is Yogesh Mistry, its designer Dominic Kozerski and engineer is Robert Curly.
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.