Osmond bowling alley

THE SIX-LANE Osmond bowling alley has undergone some renovations. Dennis Kuhl is one of the investors.

OSMOND — About a year ago, Osmond residents learned their local bowling alley was closing.

The owners were older and wanted to step away from the main street business.

But the community was not ready to let the bowling alley close its doors. Bowling league members, including area farmers, especially did not want to see their evening entertainment ended.

So Dennis Kuhl, an Osmond insurance agent, decided to do something about it.

“We hated to see the alley close,” Kuhl said. “We just want to see Osmond keep moving forward.”

A group of 15 investors organized with the knowledge that each person’s financial contribution wasn’t necessarily going toward a money-making proposition. It was more of a community service than anything else, Kuhl said.

The local businessmen and area farmers involved in the project spent a lot of time and work getting it off the ground. The bowling alley was closed for a time as the paperwork involved in forming the new corporation was completed, but finally renovations began.

The 1960s building was gutted and revitalized with shiplap siding, new carpet, new bathrooms and a new bar area.

The corporation members all chipped in with labor, too, and then contacted a bowling supply company in Kansas to find the equipment needed for the six-alley facility.

The group considered itself fortunate to find used equipment in Missouri. It is being installed by a Kansas crew and the investors estimate they are about two weeks away from some bowler making the first strike of the league season.

Main Street Alley actually opened in June after all required food, health and fire inspections were completed. Since bowling is traditionally more of a winter pastime, the alley currently provides on/off sale liquor and five big screen TVs for big game nights.

It will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., with three leagues ready to hit the lanes.

As the alleys heat up, six part-time employees and all of the investors will staff the bar and lanes.

“Even though Nebraska is not doing very well right now, we still packed the house last Friday night with die-hard Big Red fans,” Kuhl said.

Through an agreement with a local café across the street, food can be ordered off the café’s menu, which is kept at the bar and delivered to customers in the alley.

“We try not to compete with other businesses in town,” Kuhl said.

The Main Street Alley has hosted some wedding rehearsals and birthday parties with the food being catered from the café across the street as an option.

The partners said they hope to be able to add a local high school bowling team to the schedule and youth bowling parties for families or birthdays.

“When we look around at other communities, we see a lot of alleys closing and we wonder what we’re doing,” Kuhl said. “But everyone who has invested has an interest in Osmond. The members range in age from 26 to 65 and they are from here, live here, have children here, grandchildren and love the community.”

In other news

Weather permitting, work will begin next week on Highway 75 and Highway 77 between Winnebago and Homer, according to the Nebraska Department of Transportation.