MINSTER – The anticipated buyer of the Community Lanes in Minster has taken a taken advantage of 90-day option to bow out of buying the bowling alley.
Chris Van Meter had first taken possession of the lanes in August but backed out of the deal due to unexpectedly high costs for repair of required upgrades of the facility before he could be issued a new food service license.
Van Meter said an Oct. 3 Auglaize County Health Department report was going to require extensive repairs he did not feel he could afford.
The report cited 12 items that would need attention in the bar and kitchen areas.
The items included replacement of all wooden cabinets, counters and shelves being used for food or single use items. The storage of food and paper goods was considered an issue, with a significant amount of commercially approved dunnage racks or shelving needed in the storage room and walk-in cooler.
The report said pizza oven ventilation had been a problem, and the walls and ceiling around the area in need of cleaning.
Dishwashing racks, which are currently stored on the floor, would be required to be stored in a place that keeps them clean and allow the floor to be cleaned. The current dishwashing operation of a dishwashing machine and two sinks was deemed adequate, but if the equipment was replaced three sinks and drain boards would be required.
While ceiling tiles in the kitchen could be either cleaned or replaced, the bathroom tiles would have to be completely replaced. The report also said cracks in the kitchen and bars floors would have to be repaired. A home-style freezer would have to be removed.
A food preparation sink was needed in the kitchen and a separate mop sink was needed. Additionally, the ice bins would need to have lids.
“The previous owners were grandfathered out of new code requirements that the new owner cannot avoid,” said Van Meter.
Van Meter said other mechanical problems that had come up lately included a failed pizza oven and malfunctioning “bowling lanes that had not been properly maintained for 3 or 4 years.”
Van Meter said the alleys are currently open only for bowling leagues and they are are honoring party reservations he made.
Before the purchase negotiation, Van Meter was a Shelby County deputy sheriff. He left the position to pursue the bowling alley operations.
Calls to two members of the association that own and run the bowling alley as to how they plan to proceed were not returned.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.