PACIFICA, Calif. - It's the end of an era as the beloved Sea Bowl bowling alley and arcade in Pacifica closes its doors for the last time Wednesday.
Serving the community for 65 years, this cherished establishment has been a gathering place for countless birthday parties and offered memorable glow-in-the-dark bowling on Friday nights for generations.
"It’s sad. This is kind of a landmark here in Pacifica," said resident Joseph Peres. "Whenever we have family visit from out of town this is a must place to come."
David Szeto, the owner of the bowling alley who has been at the helm for years, made the difficult decision to retire and shutter the family business.
"After 60 years of doing business here in Pacifica, we have made the difficult decision to retire and close our family business," he wrote on social media "It is with mixed emotions that we announce this decision, but we feel that it is time to start a new chapter in our lives."
Sea Bowl had long been one of the last remaining affordable — and operating — bowling alleys at a time when bowling participation had declined considerably, but was starting to pick back up.
"I love bowling," Sue Laurita of San Francisco said. "It's a fun sport, I mean we need to do fun things."
KTVU found most Bay Area bowling alleys charge upwards of $75 an hour for a single lane. The Chronicle reported it costs bowlers up to $100 an hour at San Francisco's Presidio Bowl.
But at Sea Bowl, bowlers would pay $40 for an hour at a lane, a more affordable rate like what bowlers paid at Albany Bowl, which closed in 2020 after 71 years.
"I’ve been coming here for 20-some odd years before I had kids and after having kids," said Grace McKevitt of San Francisco. "This was sort of a fun, family place to go."
The closure of the Sea Bowl also means the end of an era for the Rockaway Grill, the restaurant and bar associated with the bowling alley.
Employees said the owner is planning to sell the property and bowling alley to a residential developer. The City of Pacifica could not confirm a sale and said it had received no applications for potential rezoning or construction.
"It’s quite sad if I’m being honest," said Grace McKevitt's son, Tiernan. "But at the end of the day, it’s memories, so it’s something to live off of."