The Strike Zone Entertainment Center, a bowling alley in Sebastian, will shut its doors on March 17, 2023.
“Our mortgage lender has been unwilling to work with us as we struggled to recover from covid related financial issues. Our Federal Government provided very little assistance stating that the money ran out before they could help us,” the business said in a released statement.
Strike Zone has suffered financially since the COVID-19 pandemic and never quite recovered from its losses.
“Following covid, we pursued various other revenue sources, including but not limited to additional investors. We downsized our menu, asked our staff to do more with less, anything we could think of that would allow us to keep providing quality entertainment for our patrons. It was all for naught. The lender has refused all qualified purchase offers for the Chesser’s Gap Shopping Center as well as Strike Zone Entertainment Center,” Strike Zone said in a statement.
Strike Zone opened six years ago as a place for families in Sebastian. It also hosted popular bowling leagues. In addition, the business offered dining, a bar, laser tag, and several arcade games throughout the facility.
In 2019, Sebastian Daily reported that Strike Zone was listed for sale and seeking additional partners. In 2022, we published another article about the bowling alley being for sale again. When asked about the listing, they told us it was only to seek new partners.
However, it’s not just the bowling alley in trouble. The business also own the entire plaza, which is known as Chessers Gap.
In November 2022, there was an actual foreclosure sale on the whole property. 19th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Janet Croom handled the sale (Case #2021 CA 000593).
Several people have expressed sadness over losing the only entertainment center in Sebastian for families.
“I liked to bowl there. The staff was very friendly, and it had a good atmosphere,” John Markel Jr. told Sebastian Daily. Markel also competed in the leagues.
Facing the reality that Strike Zone is no more, the only other option for bowlers is to drive to Vero Beach or Palm Bay.
“To the City of Sebastian and surrounding communities, it has been our privilege to serve and provide a unique entertainment experience since 2017. If love and commitment were enough, we would have been here forever. We hope that many of you will stop in the next few days and support our employees as we make the best of our final days,” the company said.
As for the plaza, there were rumors that it would soon become an RV park, which is false. The park’s property is across the street, with a different owner. The city turned down the park years ago after an outcry by neighborhood homeowners fearing a rise in crime.
Some tenants in the plaza beside the bowling alley are J.J. Mannings Irish Pub, No. 1 China, and Family Dollar. Unfortunately, no information is available yet regarding the plaza’s future.