The developers behind JAK's Warehouse plan a new entertainment center with "boutique bowling," an upscale restaurant and bar, an arcade, Lasertron and Cyber Sport at the south end of the old Menards in Schererville.
Schererville Town Manager Robert Volkmann said Up Your Alley would be a massive project taking up 43,380 square feet. It would seat around 500 people in the restaurant and bar.
The developers plan to invest at least $2.2 million in construction at the former lumberyard portion of Menards property, which has been redeveloped into the Boulevard Square mall. Current businesses include Planet Fitness, Last Chance Overstock, United Art & Education, Sky Zone, Kali Beauty, Region Ale and El Salto.
"It's more adult entertainment with bowling, a bar, a restaurant, electronic gaming and party rooms," Volkmann said. "It's more entertainment and dining for the Region that's definitely trying to build upon the movie theaters across the street."
Construction has started, and it should take at least a year, since it involves closing-in the outdoor yard of the Menard's home improvement store, which moved to a larger location south on Indianapolis Boulevard in 2013.
Developers are Justin Tauber, Kyle Ropa and Dennis Caudill, who developed JAK's Warehouse in Schererville and Gizmos Fun Factory in Orland Park.
"The vision for Schererville Bowling Entertainment Center was created through the experience gained over these last several years, and we are looking to build on that experience to create the most elite family entertainment center/boutique bowling facility in the Northwest Indiana area," they wrote in a business plan submitted to the town. "Schererville Bowling Family Entertainment Center is a boutique bowling business where an upscale restaurant and bar collide with an entertainment facility, creating an energetic, fun, exciting, yet sophisticated atmosphere."
Plans call for the entertainment center at 1048 U.S. 41 to include 20 bowling lanes, an arcade with 60 video games and a 5,000-square-foot Lasertron arena. The arena will include a second level, eight bases and hundreds of obstacles that will give players "plenty of places to hide."
It also will offer Cyber Sport, a two-team game that can accommodate up to 10 players at a time. Played in Cyber Cars, it combines lacrosse and basketball.
According to the plan, the restaurant will have a classically trained chef who's developed high-end farm-to-table concepts and craft cocktail menus at gastropubs. The menu will feature "upscale rustic Americana food" and customers can order food from the restaurant, bar or their reserved bowling lane.
The hardwood lanes will include plush seating, game-side tables, hi-top bar tables and "extensive social media integration that lets bowlers easily share their experiences (including live scoring) via Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks."
Wait staff will take orders at the lanes so people can eat and bowl at the same time. They also will be able to order beer, wine and specialty cocktails.
The facility will be designed by Design Development Co., whose other clients have include Hard Rock Cafe and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The converted warehouse will have an industrial look with exposed wood and structural elements turned into showpieces.
Up Your Alley will have four party rooms that can accommodate up to 32 people for birthday parties and two larger party rooms that could accommodate up to 130 for largest corporate parties.
"In a growing technology-engulfed world, adults are increasingly desiring social time that doesn't have to involve a screen of video game console," the developers wrote in their business plan. "People are as socially connected as we've ever been thanks to technology but we're just as disconnected as we've ever been. We want to provide our customers with the opportunity to go back to the future and allow people to gather and spend time together over a game of bowling."