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irishtexan

Dart Bowl closing after 62 Years

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50 minutes ago, irishtexan said:

1da3a9eb3745f2b8487f6de1bc4243e6.jpg

That might be the bowlingest bowling shirt I've ever seen. Big Ern McCracken would be proud.

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I haven't lived in Austin in 30 years, but the common theme to these closings seems to be restaurants with their nose barely above the water due to property taxes. Very Austin.

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Darkness warshed over the Dude - darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night.  There was no bottom.

RIP Dart Bowl

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7 minutes ago, DaysOff said:

I haven't lived in Austin in 30 years, but the common theme to these closings seems to be restaurants with their nose barely above the water due to property taxes. Very Austin.

It’s not really property taxes for most restaurants,  but BOH labor. That’s not true For Dart Bowl’s parent company, however. For them  it’s as simple as the loss of revenue due to COVID. 

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That property tax was surely a drain, though.  They sat on so much land.  Was the giant parking lot every truly full?  I've been there on packed league nights and it seemed like there were still a couple of empty rows available.

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53 minutes ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Drop Lebowski grill at the North Location and create Dart Bow cafe. Place would slay in that location. 

Cosine.  That would be great.

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3 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

That property tax was surely a drain, though.  They sat on so much land.  Was the giant parking lot every truly full?  I've been there on packed league nights and it seemed like there were still a couple of empty rows available.

The property is assessed at 6.3MM, and they pay about 135k/yr in taxes. No idea how they’ve structured their finances, but that’s not enough to take a healthy business down, particularly if it is true that they were in the healthiest position they’ve ever been as recently as February, as reported.

Obviously the high cost of real estate is a huge problem, and the cheap good times always go down first. It’s just a nightmare to be an undercapitalized business that relies on the physical presence of middle class people spending discretionary income right now.

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Man I bowled my first game at the original Dart Bowl on Burnet Road near Anderson Lane back in the early 60's.

Used to go to lunch there all of the time in the early 70's too. They had great plate lunches cooked by the old guy Milton who I believe was Butch's father. Peggy who was later married to Butch was a waitress back then. I love the enchiladas but those plate lunches were awesome, especially the rolls.

Will miss it.

 

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Was it Dart Bowl or Highland Lanes that had fairly decent chicken fried steak?  Kind of a brownish gravy?  I think it was Highland Lanes.

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The granddaughter of the founders/owners is a really good friend of mine.  She told me about this about two weeks ago and told me to keep my trap shut.  I didn't have the words then, and still don't have them now.

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7 minutes ago, Homesickhorn said:

The granddaughter of the founders/owners is a really good friend of mine.  She told me about this about two weeks ago and told me to keep my trap shut.  I didn't have the words then, and still don't have them now.

Brutal. Maybe you can’t say, but how’s the health of the other two lanes?

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4 minutes ago, Homesickhorn said:

Losing Dart is more than likely going to help them stay afloat.

That's some real Sophie's Choice shit right there.

Fuck this planet, fuck this virus, fuck everyone and everything.  I can't say "fuck" enough to cover this.  Hate, rage, despair - they're the order of the day.

Wonder if I can call in an order of enchiladas to-go.....

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15 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

That's some real Sophie's Choice shit right there.

Fuck this planet, fuck this virus, fuck everyone and everything.  I can't say "fuck" enough to cover this.  Hate, rage, despair - they're the order of the day.

Wonder if I can call in an order of enchiladas to-go.....

Get and extra order or 4 for me if you can. 

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That property tax was surely a drain, though.  They sat on so much land.  Was the giant parking lot every truly full?  I've been there on packed league nights and it seemed like there were still a couple of empty rows available.

Seems like every-time I went there a motorcycle class was using the parking lot.

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4 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Was it Dart Bowl or Highland Lanes that had fairly decent chicken fried steak?  Kind of a brownish gravy?  I think it was Highland Lanes.

I’m hoping they can move the enchilada production to Lebowskis Grill at Westgate Lanes.  Being that it’s only a couple miles from my house. 

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1 hour ago, Judge Roybeanbag said:

I’m hoping they can move the enchilada production to Lebowskis Grill at Westgate Lanes.  Being that it’s only a couple miles from my house. 

Nope.  Highland Lanes.  Dart Bowl is a North Austin thing, dig it dig it.

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The little Mexican place, Cheko's, across Koenig, next to the laundromat, makes a pretty mean little breakfast, for those of you in the neighborhood. 

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13 hours ago, Big Jake said:

Cafe’ is a different owner. 

I imagine that the owners could go to the Cafe and “request” that they add the enchiladas.

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17 hours ago, Deej said:

The little Mexican place, Cheko's, across Koenig, next to the laundromat, makes a pretty mean little breakfast, for those of you in the neighborhood. 

That's good to hear.  I met a friend there for lunch once.

Once.

It was the worst fucking food I ate that year.

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I made this recipe posted, a few months ago. Bought the cast iron plates and holders, everything. It still didn't taste near as good as Peggy's enchiladas. After they close, I wonder if we could put together a Surly cooking class, with some cash and have her teach how to make her recipe. I know I would pay good money, sign a NDA, and an agreement to never sell them commercially.

CHIEF

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38 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

That's good to hear.  I met a friend there for lunch once.

Once.

It was the worst fucking food I ate that year.

I never eat lunch or dinner, but a plate of migas with a side of potatoes and beans, tortillas, and a cup of coffee is about 6 bucks. Hard to fuck up breakfast.

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The Homesick Texan recipe needs, IMO, a half pound of ground beef added. I always recall DB gravy having a bit of actual beef in it.

I’ve done it before and it was great. Pro-tip, use the drippings from the browned beef as part of the fat for your gravy.

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The property is assessed at 6.3MM, and they pay about 135k/yr in taxes. No idea how they’ve structured their finances, but that’s not enough to take a healthy business down, particularly if it is true that they were in the healthiest position they’ve ever been as recently as February, as reported.

Obviously the high cost of real estate is a huge problem, and the cheap good times always go down first. It’s just a nightmare to be an undercapitalized business that relies on the physical presence of middle class people spending discretionary income right now.

Issue with the ptax is that just 2 yrs ago they were 80k. And I imagine half of that 5ish yrs ago. There’s no way their biz has seen rev increase that much, so while it hasn’t killed the operation solely it almost certainly has slashed the profits to where they would be struggling with a rainy day, much less a hurricane like covid.

And for the record, zero insight into their books or how much money an old school bowling alley takes in. I don’t think it’s too great though.

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1 hour ago, bluto said:

And for the record, zero insight into their books or how much money an old school bowling alley takes in. I don’t think it’s too great though.

I tried to come up with an estimate, but it was pretty obvious the error on the calculation was going to be massive.  Each lane averages ~ $25/hour, but I have no idea how full they are on a daily basis.  Throw in food and drinks?  I might as well have thrown a dart at a number.

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I tried to come up with an estimate, but it was pretty obvious the error on the calculation was going to be massive.  Each lane averages ~ $25/hour, but I have no idea how full they are on a daily basis.  Throw in food and drinks?  I might as well have thrown a dart at a number.

So that’s around 5,000 lane hours just to cover property taxes. 10 lanes fully booked for 10 hours a day and you’re looking at 36,000 hours a year assuming 5 holidays. That’s a huge chuck of income just to cover property taxes.

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  • 24 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:


    So that’s around 5,000 lane hours just to cover property taxes. 10 lanes fully booked for 10 hours a day and you’re looking at 36,000 hours a year assuming 5 holidays. That’s a huge chuck of income just to cover property taxes.

    Generally all lanes are booked at night for league play about 5 or 6 days a week. That was the good thing about opening a restaurant in a bowling alley. You had a guaranteed crowd every night. With Covid I doubt there was any league play going on which is what did them in.

Sad day in Austin Texas.

If I had the money I would open something up for Peggy to do her thing. This virus shit will not last forever hopefully.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Steamboat1874 said:
  • Generally all lanes are booked at night for league play about 5 or 6 days a week. That was the good thing about opening a restaurant in a bowling alley. You had a guaranteed crowd every night. With Covid I doubt there was any league play going on which is what did them in.

Sad day in Austin Texas.

If I had the money I would open something up for Peggy to do her thing. This virus shit will not last forever hopefully.

Brisket and I briefly discussed this on Facebook. Invest in a "stand alone" place and move her there. Don't see how you could loose. I would invest.

CHIEF.

 

Edited by CHIEF

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5 minutes ago, baboso said:

Our last food venture worked out so well.

I feel like maybe Peggy is less stabby than our last executive chef

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2 hours ago, CooterBrown said:


So that’s around 5,000 lane hours just to cover property taxes. 10 lanes fully booked for 10 hours a day and you’re looking at 36,000 hours a year assuming 5 holidays. That’s a huge chuck of income just to cover property taxes.

I don't think it's that bad.  If taxes are truly $135K per year, that's 15 lane-hours per day @ $25/hour.

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On 7/15/2020 at 2:29 PM, mdleast said:

RIP

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For the enchilada love alone, I always wanted to go there and try them.  Never had  the chance, so now it really sucks.

 

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I couldn't bring myself to head down there. I didn't want my last plate of enchiladas to be full of melancholy and tears. 

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