Bowling alley expected to reopen in December

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Mainline Bowl owner Phil Wood sits Monday in the rubble of his business five months into reconstruction after the March tornado destroyed the building. View a video of Wood talking about the bowling alley at

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Mainline Bowl owner Phil Wood walked through a dust-filled bowling alley as an orchestra of hammers played a construction symphony on the tornado-damaged bowling alley.

Closed since a tornado carved a path of destruction through Clovis in March, the 24-lane bowling alley is projected to reopen in December, according to Wood.

“The wait is almost over, Clovis,” Wood said Monday. “We’re getting ready to open.”

Wood said the tornado came in through the south side of the city’s lone bowling alley, breaking glass and ripping parts of the ceiling and roof off as it exited through the other side, blowing the doors off.

The tornado also lobbed three RVs into the back wall of the bowling alley, taking out four bowling lanes.

He said 20 people were huddled in the locker room when the tornado hit.

The thought of cutting his losses never occurred to him after seeing the damage the twister left behind.

“Clovis needs a bowling center,” said Wood who has owned the bowling alley for 12 years. “Me and my wife, Alice, always thought about rebuilding; it never crossed our minds that it was over.”

Alice Wood said Mainline is home to five leagues consisting of about 220 bowlers. They have been going to the Cannon Air Force Base bowling alley, Cannon Lanes, since the tornado hit.

Construction manager Hensel Morris said the floors should be completed by next week and furniture should be coming in around Nov. 26.

Construction started in July, he said.

He said the bowling alley had to be brought up to code and asbestos in the floors were removed.

Repairs include an upgrade of the restaurant, new masking units, scoring systems and a radar bowling system, according to Morris.
“It’s going be a different-looking bowling alley,” he said.