• 93°

Max Bowl reopens with new equipment, guidelines

Max Bowl is reopening and ready for some good clean fun.

Port Arthur’s only bowling alley at 3500 Regional Dr. closed in mid-March due to COVID-19, but is back in business after reopening to the public on Memorial Day.

General manager Delia Depaz said she is very happy to be open again.

“We missed all of our customers, especially our league bowlers,” she said. “It’s good to be able to get out of the house and let people have fun here.”

League bowling officially opened Thursday and people are filing in.

Father and son duo, Hunter Engle, left, and James Engle, right, participate in bowling tournaments around the Southeast Texas area.

For father-son duo James and Hunter Engle, the bowling alley is a second home.

“I’ve been bowling for 17 years,” Hunter said. “My dad has been bowling since he was a kid, as well. I’m not sure how long he’s been doing it, but I started bowling because he bowled. I wanted to be just like him and it turns out I was pretty good at it, so it stuck.

“The cool part about it now is we’re on different teams, so we compete against each other, it’s a little father-son rivalry.”

James Engle used to bowl once a week with company team Energy Country Ford.

“It’s a chance to see my friends again and compete with them, but more importantly get back to some normalcy,” James said. “I miss seeing my friends that I have made over the years in that league. The bowling and the beverages are a bonus.”

Nederland native Hunter Engle participates in league bowling at Max Bowl. 

Hunter said he couldn’t wait to be back in a league uniform again.

“I miss the camaraderie between the bowling family,” he said. “The young kids bowling have all grown up together, and the older crowd has watched us all grow up and helped raise us.”

Outside league bowling, Max Bowl offers an arcade stocked with the latest games, a laser tag arena, billiards, karaoke and a full bar and grill.

During this time of careful reopening, the arcade, karaoke and laser tag arenas are closed while the bar and grill remains open.

The 40-lane bowling alley is also following social distancing guidelines by closing every other lane, leaving a total of 20 lanes open for use.

In keeping with sanitation and safety guidelines, every Max Bowl location is undergoing strict sanitation and hygiene practices with all employees, including a health check prior to each shift.

Bowling balls, rental shoes, chairs, tables, interactive screens and other high-touch objects will either be single-use or cleaned and sanitized immediately after contact.

Hand sanitizer will also be available to all guests and employees.

Depaz said social distancing and sanitation protocols are top priorities.

“For social distancing, we have tape on the floor and we sanitize everything after every use,” she said. “It’s very important for us to follow all these protocols so that we can stay open and have people out here.”

The bowling alley’s recent renovations boast new flooring, carpet, tables, bumpers, gutters and front desk.

Within the next few weeks, renovations will also begin for laser tag and arcade venues.

“We’re getting new games, and for the laser tag it’s a whole new system,” Depaz said. “The new system is a little bit better for the employees so that if we have any breakdowns, it will notify us electronically. It will allow us better access to guarantee open spots for the customers to use.”

Current hours are Monday-Thursday 11a.m to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

Monday and Thursday league bowling starts at 7 p.m. to closing.

“Everybody is very happy to be here and very happy to be out of the house,” Depaz said. “So come bowl with us.”

For more information, visit https://maxbowl.com/locations/#portarthur.