Brooklyn-Based Bowling Alley, the Gutter, Headed For Essex Crossing

The Lo-Down

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A few months before the first phase of Essex Crossing makes its debut, there’s been a change in one of the big commercial tenants coming to the mega-project. A Florida-based bowling concept, Splitsville Lanes, will be replaced by the Gutter, a home-grown bowling alley.

Back in 2015, Delancey Street Associates (the group building Essex Crossing) announced that Splitsville Lanes would be taking 17,000 square feet on the lower level of 242 Broome St. In an interview yesterday, Andrew Katz of the Prusik Group (one of the development partners) explained the reasons for the switch from one operator to another.

Splitsville Lanes, selected for the project after a nationwide search, had never done business in New York City. At some point, the owners of the company came to the developers to ask about taking on a partner with local experience. Delancey Street Associates was open to the idea, said Katz. In the process of locating the right NYC-based partner, the development team got to know the owners of the Gutter, which operates bowling alleys in Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Long Island City.  Splitsville Lanes ultimately dropped out of Essex Crossing, with the Gutter taking over the Lower East Side space.

In the end, it was probably for the best. The Gutter opened on North 14th Street in 2007, cultivating an old school vibe. As the New York Times noted a few years ago, the venue presents “itself as a cheaper and lower-key alternative to Brooklyn Bowl, its higher-profile neighbor around the corner.” In 2014, Gothamist called the Gutter one of the eight best bowling alleys in the city, praising its “elegant, old school lanes, classic bar and vintage decor.” The existing locations, said Katz, have “a cool, homey feel.” That might be a little harder to replicate in a shiny new real estate project on the Lower East Side, but the owners definitely know New York nightlife.