Bowling is more than just a passion for Butch Pangallo. The sport is part of the DNA of the Pangallo family.
Patriarch Pat Pangallo opened Gala Lanes in Galion back in 1956. He then founded Pangallo Lanes in 1968 and it remained in the family until the 16-lane bowling center was sold in 1991.
“All my peers, guys in my age group, we all bowled back in the day at Pangallo and also at Gala,” said the younger Pangallo, who grew up in Galion.
Butch Pangallo learned the business from his father and carried that knowledge into roles as manager of bowling centers across north central Ohio, including Bucyrus Suburban Lanes. He’s been the manager at Suburban Lanes since 2011. The establishment was revived in 2008 after Cleveland businessman Mark Sashko purchased the facility. Pangallo’s wife Robin, is the co-manager. She runs the restaurant at Suburban Lanes.
Since taking over as manager, Pangallo said he and his wife have been working to rebuild the reputation of Suburban Lanes, which has been a fixture in Bucyrus for the past 53 years.
“Right now, we’re building from scratch,” he said. “All our leagues have at least eight teams. Most of them are in the neighborhood of 12 (teams). A couple of years ago, our biggest league was 16, but it’s down to 12.”
Pangallo said the Tuesday and Friday night leagues are already underway and the Thursday Night Bar Wars, sponsored by pubs in the Bucyrus area, is scheduled to begin soon. The Saturday Morning Youth League and Saturday Night Mixed League are scheduled to begin Sept. 12, Pangallo noted.
All about the kids
Generating interest about bowling among youth in the area is Pangallo’s main desire right now. He’d like to see Bucyrus Suburban Lanes and other bowling centers around the region filled with young people, something that hasn’t been the case in many years, he said.
“Bowling among youth in (Bucyrus) is way down, really down,” he said. “We had anywhere from 30 to 50 kids at one point last year, but a place this size should have two shifts of 60 or better. That’s due to maybe the economy, but it’s a different generation.”
To entice young bowlers to get involved in the Saturday Morning Youth League, Pangallo is offering a unique deal to parents who may be on a tight budget.
“If they don’t have the money to pay, they can come in and bowl, and pay me $2, pay me $1, pay me nothing,” he said. “I just want to have them bring their kids in here. If one week they can afford $10 and the next week they can’t afford anything, that’s fine. I just want to build this kids’ league up so we’ll have a future. Ten years from now, this 12-year old that’s out here bowling will be bowling in the adult leagues. But if you don’t get him started now, why would he start when he’s 25?”
The regular fee structure for the youth bowling league is as follows: Bumpers, $5 for two games; Beginners, $6 for three games; Juniors-Majors, $6 for three games. Youth bowling starts at 10 a.m. each Saturday.
Leagues & other promotions
The Saturday Night Mixed League is open to teams of four people, any combination of men or women. There is a $9 lineage fee and $3 fee for the prize fund. A meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 with bowling beginning at 6:30 p.m. each week.
Suburban Lanes also offers Glow Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights. Pangallo said that will begin Sept. 11. He said folks can bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight for $15 per person with all-you-can-eat pizza and shoe rental included.
Another promotion Pangallo has started is called Old Fashioned Sundays. After paying a $5 cover charge, participants pay only 50 cents per game played, shoe rental, and food and drink. It will start the weekend after Labor Day.
“They can come in and bowl for 50 cents a game, 50 cents for shoes, 50 cents for pop and fries and hot dogs,” he said.
Pangallo said Bucyrus Suburban Lanes offers a variety of other specials for groups, birthday parties, corporate outings, etc. Live entertainment is also offered from time to time.
For information about leagues or other services at Bucyrus Suburban Lanes, contact Pangallo at 419-562-2249, or email [email protected] Information is also available on the website www.bucyruslanes.com.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.