Eastlake's Tavern & Bowl closes its doors unexpectedly after 11 years

Posted at 7:59 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 10:54:07-04

CHULA VISTA (KGTV) --  Eastlake's Design District shopping complex, which once boasted a vibrant family and adult nightlife destination for the sprawling east Chula Vista communities, lost yet another marquee tenant.

Good bye, Tavern+Bowl Eastlake.

The 11-year-old bowling alley and sports lounge, located at 871 Showroom Place off Otay Lakes Road, locked its doors unexpectedly Monday night.  

The 16,000-square-foot establishment nestled within a modern strip mall adorned with water features, rich landscaping, and winding sidewalks was a popular spot for locals.

Tavern and Bowl is one of four recent closures at the Design District: restaurant Filippi's Pizza Grotto, arcade and laser tag center Lazer Journey, and indoor go-kart track Eastlake Speed Circuit.

READ: Anonymous tip led to Filippi's inspection

It's unclear if staff or management were aware of the bowling alley's plans to shut down.  Robyn Spencer, a sales director at the San Diego location, would only say that the tavern "has permanently closed."

What is clear is that at least one regular was left in the dark.

Emeka Enunwa, an Eastlake resident and manager at Work Skills, is upset that the bowling alley is gone.  He says he often brings a group of adults with disabilities to Tavern and Bowl to learn life skills by working light "volunteer-like" duties, such as cleaning and performing tasks.

He says his group was there two days ago but nobody told him that would be their last shift. His group took pride working at the facility and that the news of the closure may be devastating to some. 

Enunwa also worried about what's happening in Eastlake that's forcing all these businesses to shut down. 

READ: 'Ghost Town?' Vacant storefronts reflect mall struggles at Chula Vista's Otay Ranch Town Center

"I live in the neighborhood and have seen stores close in this shopping complex," he said. "I'm beginning to feel bad as a business owner; no notice ... throwing employees out of work," he said.

"I'm feeling for the city...they're losing jobs, they're losing money," he said.

Enunwa is working quickly to find another business partner but says it's hard "because not everybody wants to accept people with disabilities."

The District at Eastlake property management group could not be reached immediately Wednesday for comment.

10News' Laura Acevedo contributed to this report.