POSTED ON DECEMBER 22, 2010:
New Time Frame
Don't lace up your bowling shoes just yet
Bowling enthusiasts hoping to roll a couple of frames in downtown Tulsa will have to wait a little bit longer to indulge their hobby.
Elliot Nelson, who originally had hoped to have his Dust Bowl bowling alley open at 211 S. Elgin by Christmas, now says he is targeting March 1 as the opening date.
Progress on the bowling alley was held up for months by environmental issues, but the renovation of the property recently began, he said.
"We finally got cleared of all the environmental stuff by the first of November, and we got it going," said the entrepreneur, whose McNellie's Restaurant Group operates a slew of restaurants and bars in downtown's Blue Dome district, including McNellie's Pub, the Dilly Deli, El Guapo, Yokozuna and Fassler Hall, as well as establishments in Oklahoma City and Norman.
Waist-high brick walls have been constructed across the front of the building, with large windows to be put in soon, Nelson said. Crews had hoped to have a good deal of concrete already poured, but Nelson said a recent cold snap when temperatures dipped to less than 40 degrees delayed that work. He hopes to have the building enclosed soon so interior work can begin in earnest.
"The push right now is to get it air tight," he said. "Once we get it contained, I think we'll probably start on the lanes in three or four weeks."
Nelson said construction of the lanes would take approximately four weeks.
The Dust Bowl is being shoehorned into a 1930s-era building that features only 8,500 square feet. The structure's depth of 150 feet is barely big enough to accommodate the eight 120-foot lanes planned for it, but that's fine with Nelson, who envisions a cozy, old school atmosphere for the bowling alley, complete with a bar and small kitchen producing a limited menu highlighted by a lineup of gourmet corndogs.
Nelson has estimated the price of the project at approximately $1 million.
Meanwhile, he's planning on opening another new business this week outside his usual footprint in the Blue Dome district.
The Brady Tavern, opening at 5 E. Brady St. at the former site of Lola's at the Bowery, should be open by Monday, Dec. 27, he said, though that date depends on some licensing issues, Nelson said.
The new restaurant and bar will be an upscale addition to Nelson's restaurant group, with an emphasis on locally produced ingredients and high-end cuisine. The kitchen, featuring two large chef's tables, will overlook a large window facing Brady Street, he said, allowing passersby a chance to watch the food being prepared.
The Brady Tavern also will place an emphasis on high-end alcohol offerings, he said, with 22 wines being offered by the glass, along with an extensive bottle list. Nelson plans to offer only 30 or so carefully selected beers, with an emphasis on locally produced brews.
"We're also going to try our hand at mixology," he said, explaining that cocktails will BE another point of focus. "I think the Old Fashioned will be our signature drink."
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