SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Two popular San Diego bowling alleys will be closing permanently, the manager of both locations told ABC 10News.
Johnny Humble came to Kearny Mesa Bowl on Tuesday and was greeted by some of his devoted league bowlers who came to say goodbye. Kearny Mesa Bowl and Mira Mesa Lanes had been "surviving on vapors" this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, only able to open for about two weeks in 2020.
Humble was visibly upset, thinking of his employees. For many, he said, this was their only job, and they had loyally been with him for decades in some cases.
Neal Methvin is one of the longtime bowlers who said he'd been coming to Kearny Mesa Bowl since 1984, two nights per week, as part of a large recreational league. Methvin said he misses the sport, and the exercise, but also the camaraderie of time spent with good friends.
Humble dutifully signed pins for bowlers to keep as a souvenir. They stood and hugged, fighting back tears, as though saying final goodbyes to family.
The locations were able to open for just two weeks this past year, abiding by safety requirements, but after the shutdown in December, they haven't been able to reopen.
Humble explained that he tried to hold on as long as he could, but the land is just too valuable.
He said both lots are to be sold to make way for development, and he is preparing for an auction of some of the items later this month.