Family team revives Bowl Incline
Special to the Sierra Sun
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Bowl Incline has been a staple of Incline Village since 1965, and after almost a year of being shut down, new owners Tracy and Steve Tomkovicz and their family are thrilled to welcome the community back in a completely re-vamped space.
“When I say it’s different,” said Tracy Tomkovicz, “I mean that literally nothing is the same.”
Since construction is still being done outside and the indoor space still needs to time to come together, the team is expecting the bowling alley to open at the beginning of summer 2022.
The building was torn down allowing the team to dig into the space and completely remodel both the interior and exterior. From that revitalization, the bowling alley will now boast 16 brand new lanes to bowl on, an upgraded arcade, a bar and dance floor in a new upstairs space with axe throwing available, and a completely new Hawaiian fusion restaurant.
It was important to the team to create a space that’s not only family-friendly, but could offer an experience to the adults of Incline who have been missing out on a late-night place to hangout in the town.
“It may very likely be a 21 and over area that we can designate it to them,” said Tomkovicz. “The whole place is a family entertainment center, and we want it to be very family friendly. But we also want a space for adults to go and hangout and dance.”
The addition of the upstairs area and the complete face lift of the building wasn’t originally planned. The couple purchased the property during the COVID pandemic after deciding to make the move to Incline Village, and quickly into renovation, realized the space would need a lot more work than they thought.
“And rather than tearing it down,” said Tomkovicz, “we retrofitted the whole thing so it’s totally stable, so we could add in the second floor … We had to build an entire steel exoskeleton inside all of the support beams in order to be able to take out a bunch of the bigger beams that held the building together.”
Tomkovicz said the new work has become a feature piece of the building and anyone who comes in to visit will be able to see the new steel beams place around the foundation of the building. Along with general improvements to the building, Tomkovicz and her daughter, Allison Hollman, rebranded the Bowl Incline look completely, bringing back the classic bowling alley energy.
“Since the bowling alley was build in 1965 and we’re fully restoring the building, we really felt like the right thing to do was go with a cool mid-century modern with retro decor,” said Tomkovicz. “In the heyday of the fifties and the sixties, that’s what families did; couples all belonged to bowling leagues and kids went bowling, and so we felt like that was the right theme to go with.”
Leagues will be returning as well, with shorter leagues available to those who cannot make a longer commitment but still want to participate. Additionally, there will be four lanes of hyper-bowling, which will offer interactive games for people to play while on the lane rather than a traditional game of bowling.
“So it’s for people who aren’t bowling for a score, but just want to go bowling to have fun,” said Tracy. “There will be a lot of really fun things for them to get back into.”
The team is also excited to welcome a new option for eating out with a twist that Incline has yet to see.
“We knew we had to bring food back to the bowling alley,” said Tomkovicz. “So we reached out to our friend Sam Choy.”
Choy, who is a longtime friend of the Tomkovicz family, is an award-winning chef whose family ran a bowling alley when he was just a child. He didn’t hesitate to jump on board with the team. Choy has put together an entirely new menu for the space that mixes his Hawaiian heritage and favorites that you would see at the bowling alley.
“We’re going to be offering… a high quality menu,” said Tomkovicz. “So if you’re not used to a bowling alley, there’s [normally] burgers and fries and chicken wings and pizza, but then we’re taking Sam Choy’s elevated spin on it. So there will be a lot of Hawaiian influence because he’s from Hawaii, and he’s the godfather of poke.”
In addition to a full-time menu, Bowl Incline will offer a rotating menu of different unique dishes to figure out what community members like the most.
“We’re trying to have unique things that we can turn out really quickly,” said Tomkovicz. “So there will definitely be a Hawaiian style to stuff on the menu that people are not used to seeing around here.”
The team is also excited to launch their late night menu, which will be available a few nights a week, and will allow customers to get late bites past 9 p.m.
Even though Bowl Incline is set to open this summer, there is still work to the outside of the building to be done that will eventually offer guests a year-round outdoor seating area, featuring games like corn-hole and bochee ball, and next summer, there will be a climbing wall.
“We’re going to operate a place that is safe for people to come with their families and their kids,” said Tomkovicz.
Precautions to keep the area safe include replacing outdoor lighting, a new security system, and the use of private security when needed.
One way community members can aide the final touches of the bowling alley and become a part of the establishments history is through the purchase of a paver.
A paver will have a family’s name or personalized message engraved in the outdoor patio area once it is complete. For a small, 5×5 paver, donors can give between $125-$250. For a medium, 5×8 square, between $250-$500, and for a large 8×11 square, either $500 or $1000.
“We’re really building this for the community,” said Tomkovicz.
Bowl Incline is still hiring, and hoping to start the training process and putting together the final touches at the beginning of May.
For more information, visit bowlincline.com.
Miranda Jacobson is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun
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