Suburban Lanes Closing as Suburban Plaza is Redeveloped

suburban lanes

Suburban Lanes will be closing its current location in Suburban Plaza at the end of April, according to a new Decaturish post.  The announcement was made at a Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association meeting last night.

The post also states that Selig’s Bill Stogner already has a letter of intent from a bookseller out of Dallas called “Half Price Books“, which may take over lower-story space on the Church Street side of the business.

At this point, leases have been signed byWalmart, JoAnn Fabrics, Home Goods, and LA Fitness for the new Suburban Plaza.  Starbucks, AT&T and Ross For Less are also planning to be part of the development.

According to the report, Selig told neighbors in attendance that they were still trying to work with Cozy Burger Town, so it could remain part of the new development.

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

33 thoughts on “Suburban Lanes Closing as Suburban Plaza is Redeveloped”


  1. No! Not Suburban Lanes. Best old school bowling around. I’ll be happy to see Cozy Burger stay though!

  2. Awful news. I go almost every Sunday. No place else has the same vibe. I will really miss it.

  3. NOOOOOOO! Suburban Lanes is as iconic to me as that Dairy Queen. I like to get my exercise with a beer in hand and that is really frowned on at L.A. Fitness!

  4. I was at the meeting, and Selig indicated that they and Suburban Lanes tried hard to make it work, but it was prohibitively expensive for all parties.

    They also shared that the new LA Fitness will have a pool! Many of us in Decatur Heights are thrilled we will no longer have to fight traffic to get to the Y pool.

    1. “Prohibitively expensive” = “bowling alley isn’t going to make the kind of rent we plan to charge.”

      1. +1 What a bunch of hooey. It is really really sad.

        And I saw that Ross will be moving in to this development. Don’t they have store at North Dekalb. Will that just become an empty hull? Selig/Walmart just keeps getting worse.

    2. Bowling is just so American middle class. I used to have bowling birthday parties even as an adult just because my awful bowling was so hysterical. It’s disappearance worries me.

    1. I never seem to agree with you, so in that spirit –

      No, it totally blows.

      (Seriously, this is an absolute disgrace.)

      1. To be fair, Suburban Lanes was heading towards closing for some time now regardless of this redevelopment. He had been looking for buyers, and knew he could only hold on for so long.

        1. The bowling equipment is very old and worn. I could not bowl a single game without my personal ball (it is on the heavy side) getting caught up in the works somewhere and having to have a worker go and get it loose. I will miss have the lanes so close.

              1. Glad you spared us. Get it? “Spared”!! I know, I am such a turkey. Get it? “Turkey”!! You are welcome.

    1. The way you’re feeling? That’s exactly how Bill Stogner’s feeling. From Day 1, he was bursting with enthusiasm over how Suburban Lanes would be a centerpiece of the revamped Suburban Plaza. Bill truly loves that bowling alley– as a “grew up in Decatur” boy, he’s sentimentally attached to it. His heart definitely led his efforts on their behalf. Selig was willing to invest a substantial amount of money into their renovation. Unfortunately, despite Bill’s and the owner’s best efforts, it just wasn’t doable for Suburban Lanes.

      It’s really sad news, but beloved landmark businesses can’t get by on community affection alone. Dating back to when the economy tanked, Suburban Lanes has been up against some pretty lean years. I know I sure feel guilty about it being on my “that’d be fun to go do” list, but never making the time to actually go bowling. :0(

      1. I hear you and feel the same pang of guilt about not going more. I expect it will be a bit busier between now and April.

  5. I reserve the right to fling bowling balls as hard as I want down the aisles of the new Walmart.

    You’ve been warned.

  6. Well, at least there might be a bookstore going in there. Could be worse (worse, from my perspective, would be something like an Ashley Furniture).

    1. My wife has patronized Half Price Books in other cities and online and says it’s kind of awesome, so that takes some of the sting out of this. She was bummed about Suburban Lanes, but when I told her about the bookstore, she bucked back up.

  7. Bowling leagues used to be centers of local civic engagement (see: Putnam). In Decatur, we meet at the parks, pubs, and here on this message board.

    Businesses have to evolve, it’s not fair to expect an owner to run an unprofitable business (bowling alley or shopping center) due to nostalgia. That said, I’m pretty surprised to hear that a book store is the viable alternative? I guess that’s positive but overall the tenants seem pretty low end.

    1. Yup – if you turned that space into an indoor bocce court complex with brewpub and artisanal cocktails, it’d be jam packed with beards and flannel in no time.

  8. I am saddened by this. First Hancock, then Big Lots, now Suburban Lanes! Somehow, LA Fitness doesn’t quite make up for this. 🙁

    1. +1000. And what impact will Half Price Books have on Little Shop of Stories or Eagle Eye? You know, local stores.

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