by Angie Kay Dilmore
Petro Bowl has been a family-fun institution since 1984. They’d had some damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005, but nothing compared to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura. “The day after Laura came through, we were in Houston and saw the destruction to the bowling center on the national news – it was horrible,” says Debbie Stroderd, General Manager at Petro Bowl. “We came home to see firsthand the damage to the bowling center, as well as our home. My heart dropped when I walked into Petro Bowl and saw the extent of the damage. Tables and chairs were thrown all over the place. Exterior walls on the east and northeast had crumbled. The eight-inch circle windows were thrown on the inside of the building. The huge front awning had collapsed. The roof was peeled back like a can of tuna, especially on the east side. Rain poured into the building and destroyed all the bowling lanes, pinsetters, etc.”
Despite the destruction, Stroderd says they were determined to rebuild. “It has been a very long process, especially with shortages on all sorts of supplies. We still have some materials on back order.”
Hard times for Petro Bowl began in March 2020 with closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They re-opened in June 2020 at only 50% occupancy. “It was hard to survive, and then two months later, Laura hit,” Stroderd adds. “We have pushed back opening dates a couple of times due to backorders which slowed the rebuild process.”
At the time of this writing, Petro Bowl plans to re-open early November, and the facility will be better than ever. Stroderd says the storm gave them the opportunity to give Petro Bowl a whole new look with improved amenities. “We now have 34 bowling lanes, a snack bar, lounge with video poker, three party rooms, and a large arcade area with prizes earned from redeemed game play points.”
Check out the new Petro Bowl at 630 Petro Point Dr, Lake Charles. Find them on Facebook for more information or call 337-477-7554.