|Curtis Lanes Comments - Add your comment|
|Comment Date: 2/29/2012 Name: Joe|
|This place must have the only lanes around that don't have workable foul line sensors. How can they do that?|
|Comment Date: 1/13/2012 Name: S. Johnson|
|It was great to read Jim's posting about Curtis Lanes and it sure brought back many fond memories. Just like him, I have been out of bowling for several years now but that's just because I am old and retired! =) I bowled at Curtis from the 1970's through the late 90's and along with making many friends, I bowled with and against many great bowlers. Along with the bowlers that Jim mentioned on here, I remember facing other great bowlers such as Rich Pallay, Fran Andreas, Paul DeUmberto, Sonny Reed and back then, young guys like Bob Bail, Paul Carlisi and then there was Norm Titus who could be seen practicing there EVERY afternoon. Curtis Lanes hosted many great leagues and tournaments such as the 80 TEAM (yes, I said 80 teams) Holy Name League which I believe still exists to this day but not nearly as big or as competitive. Then, there was the Mercer County Majors League on Sunday nights which showcased the county's best bowlers and ya can't forget the TGIF League which is still going strong to this day! As far as tournaments go, the professionals came to town for the PBA Tour Great Adventure Open back in the late 70's and for the local guys, there was always the Trenton Times and Trentonian tournaments which were always a blast! I remember a night in the late 80's/early 90's when Fran ran a 8 or 10 game scratch marathon tournament and a guy by the name of Rudy "Revs" Kasimakis came down from New York to bowl (and I believe win) the tournament. If anyone is familiar with the PBA Tour or "action bowling", Rudy Revs was a great money bowler back in the 80's and 90's with an arm swing that left people speechless! It was a great treat to watch a bowler of his caliber in our local house! Who else has any Curtis Lanes stories? I'd sure love to hear some! |
|Comment Date: 12/9/2011 Name: Jim Ianni|
|I'm living in Fairless Hills PA, but I basically grew up at Curtis. Lived across Scotch Rd in Fleetwood Village, so I was here EVERY day. Curtis was an awesome place to bowl, hang, eat (Jean Ferdetta was always so nice) and work. Curtis was my first real job. I was a pin chaser for a few years, worked the desk occasionally, helped out in the pro shop (when Russ owned the place and also when Fran owned it) and even cleaned the place in the mornings before they openned for a while. I bowled here back in the day as well and was pretty good (wouldn't say great, but I did win the summer sweeps one year) and picked up a lot of my style and bowling knowledge from the guys back then. Most of them are listed on the wall of fame such as Bill Shaw, Gary Bondarchuck, Russ Campbell, Rick Jackson as well as guys like Mike Hart, Scott Yates and both Ferdetta brothers Al and Dave.
I'm just getting back into bowling after about 13 years so I stopped in Curtis today to pick up some lunch and see if any of my old donated balls are still on the racks. The parking lot has potholes, but I think those are the same ones that Mr Curtis never fixed either, so I chuckled at that. I walked in to see all the names on the board in the lobby then walked into the lanes. All the lockers are gone from where they used to be and the backs are more open with open ball racks. The front desk is still in the same spot and I couldn't believe it, but Timmy Thompson is still working the desk! She's been there since I was a kid! I would have talked to her, but was on lunch from work so I didn't announce who I was. The place looks like a bowling alley, just dark enough yet not dreary and dirty as others here have suggested. The lanes look remarkably good especially considerring age, and there is no substitute for a good wood lane or pin deck either.
They look to be the same pinsetter machines, which can be a bear to maintain with 40 lanes, but when those machines are maintained, they are the best...I know it is a LOT of work though. The issue when I worked there was the ball returns not the pinsetters that would eat balls, looks like those have been replaced though...might just be newer covers, I don't know.
The pro shop, which wasn't open at 12:30pm looks pretty nice now since Chuck South took over just before I left the sport 13 years ago. I will be visiting there for 2 redrills and resurfaces at a later date, so I'll comment then.
I did get a Bacon Burger from Naticchia's Grill which was another surprise as I'm pretty sure the guy who made my lunch was Dave Naticchia who was a couple years older than me but also grew up in Fleetwood Village. Needless to say, his burger was indeed better than the one I got from 5 Guys last week. They are pricey, but the food is good!
I will be back here to bowl soon!!!!!!|
|Comment Date: 10/25/2011 Name: JoiseyBowler|
|Ahhh, am I the only one who senses some possible 'self promoting' on this website? I find it quite odd that this thread received a posting once every several months yet on 6/14/11 we have 2 posts about the same topic. One of which praises the tireless efforts of Mr. Cody at Curtis Lanes and the very next post is by none other than this fella himself. Makes ya wonder, eh? lol|
|Comment Date: 9/15/2011 Name: bowlingmama|
|Sure, I am not a fan of potholes, but big deal. I prefer the ambiance of Curtis to the crappy boring disco newness of a place like Brunswick Lanes way north on rt 1. How can people waste their time at a place like that. I don't go bowling expecting high class anyway. Get real. I enjoy the working class retro grit. The wood floors at Curtis are soooooooooooo much better than that synthetic crap you get at the ever crappy Lawrenceville bowling alley which is far seedier and is always in need of the perpetual rennovations that seems to keep it closed half the time. The staff at Curtis has always been friendly and helpful. New Years Eve bowling was a blast. The price is right; a few hours of bowling for a family should cost $30, not $75. The fries are fantastic. I've been in worse bathrooms. Sure, some money could be put into cleaning the place up, but times are tough. I pray they never get rid of the wooden lanes - I drive 25 miles to bowl there because my local bowling alley is just clean, small, synthetic, expensive, and boring, despite its investment in disco lighting. If Curtis replaced the wood with synthetic, I would indeed stop bowling there. But as it is now, I will stay loyal to Curtis.|
|Comment Date: 6/14/2011 Name: mike |
|I bowl here a lot and I love the place. I've been reading these comments and laughing at how people think its so easy to run a 40 lane center. Slocums and papps and smaller centers are easier to maintain than bigger bowling centers. The blonde kid cody that works there does a lot at curtis. He cleans, works the desk, oils the lanes, runs in the back when a ball gets stuck or a lane breaks down. He's also pretty nice to the customers and knows a lot by name which is always a plus. I will continue to bowl at curtis and spend my money where I know it is worth spending. Which is one of the cheapest and best centers I've ever bowled at. |
|Comment Date: 6/14/2011 Name: cody from curtis|
|Lanes just got resurfaced, and I'm still here. Come bowl and thanks for the shout outs haha|
|Comment Date: 5/7/2011 Name: Anonymous|
|We come here often to practice for Special Olympics. They are very cordial and appreciative of our group.
They welcome the Special Olympics Tournament and the food is GREAT. We love Curtis Bowling Alley! |
|Comment Date: 4/26/2011 Name: Bowlsalot|
|Frankly, it is a great place to bowl leagues, everything works, and there is PLENTY OF ROOM to move around and be comfortable. The lanes are good and the heat and a/c work. Scoring is usually very high here. The carpet in the bowling area is worn and the side walls are ugly. The food place closes too early, although a little expensive its pretty good. I Bowled at Curtis Suburban Lanes many years ago also. It was darker then. Although its was cool when the crowns lit up. All and all its a good safe place to bowl.|
|Comment Date: 2/25/2011 Name: kisha's po-po|
|yo, curtis is not so bad. No, maybe its not the best kept, and slocums is cleaner but they also cost more and its way too small which is annoying. so i dont think its really fair to always compare curtis to slocums. Colonial and hamilton ,however, they're totally different animals. they both have limited hours - colonial opens most days in late afternoon, and at least 2 days hamilton is completely closed and only open for special private groups.Not curtis!! they're open in mornings. Hopefully Curtis will outlast the other 2 places, not to wish bad on them though. Even with curtis wood lanes, it still runs circles around the 2 others which are both cynthetic (and i'm more of a synthetic person). curtis also has up to date scoring unlike the other 2 which are so old they barely work . incidentally the 2 big ol tv's are gone and now theirs a flat-screen. yes the shot is easy but BE GRATEFUL!!! Not all off pocket hits carry (unlike at Brunswick zones) - splits can happen, and pins still have sturdy bottoms though theyre a year old. best of all games are still $2 til 4pm!!! I don't know if Naticchias grill still has bad hours (for nite leagues) but if u want a good burger for a better price, go to Ewing diner rite around corner after bowling. You think trash in parking lot is bad here- go look at colonial, and the graffiti on hamilton rusty tin can building is worse!! I do however agree that curtis needs better inside lighting. but the old lady is nice and is quite amazing- she said she was there all 50 years its been open, and that up until 10 years ago it had above ground ball racks and no computer scoring. wow! she also watches and cheers on the bowlers. they should post the old pictures of the place for all to see. and a shout out to my boy cody!!!peace|
|Comment Date: 12/20/2010 Name: bowler in area |
|I have never gone to or plan on going to Curtis lanes based on what I hear. My father says when he use to bowl there in the 70's and 80's it was amazing. Now I drive by and don't even want to be seen there. |
|Comment Date: 5/22/2010 Name: Ravn|
|I pulled into the parking lot last week and was afraid because of poor lighting, trash, potholes. I went inside and the bowling alley was equally dark and ominous. I decided to pass on bowling for the evening and went home to walk my dog instead. Curtis is in need of major renovations!|
|Comment Date: 4/17/2010 Name: GTL|
|I practiced at Curtis before the Mercer Master Tourny.It's not a bad place.Way too easy of shot.I only payed 1.50 a game from 5-6pm.I averaged 225 at the Tourny and didn't qualify.I like wood lanes but,the oil pattern isn't tough enough.If your looking for numbers bowl here!|
|Comment Date: 3/6/2010 Name: sk8ersbus1|
|Well, despite my over-reacting on the previous post about the few major problems, Curtis lanes otherwise is great. the $2 games on weekdays are the real draw. i wish it was closer to home!! the lanes may be wood and maybe not in the greatest of shape but look alright to me. I've seen much worse!! the bathrooms are fine, the masking pictures are pretty and eye-pleasing. whats interesting is u can walk down the aisle along the lanes and peek into a window and watch the machinery at work, awesome!. thats the only bowling alley i know of that has that!! the pin action is great and the oil pattern is good too. not too little or too much oil. with a little tlc work on the machinery to break it of its bad occasional pin & ball chewing habits, (and take it thru dog obedience training school), i see no reason why the pros cant come back here for the great adventures tournament (from 1977). the staff is great, including the older lady and Cody. keep on sk8in n bmx'n Cody!!!! |
|Comment Date: 1/30/2010 Name: sk8ersbus1|
|I have mixed feelings about Curtis. the staff for the most part is fine. the pro shop guy was nice as well, and knowlegeable. very nice people to talk to. i like the fact it has fairly new brunswick masking plates, ball returns, seating and computers . and it certainly runs circles around hamilton lanes, also a 40-laner which is a complete dump- dont get me started on that!! but i heavily agree with Mercer county bowler and the many complaints. i'm glad the price during weekdays is $2 til 4. (its like paying only 99 c 15 years ago.) but otherwise its kinda run down. it certainly aint worth $4 games it otherwise charges; the lanes look shot as well as the building. the pinsetters are the worst part of all. i saw a lot of their old reject pins and many have been gouged and cut by machine parts. that seems to indicate either lack of proper maintenance, or maybe their just simply developing junkyard fever. not just isolated occurences either. i also heard numerous complaints about similar damage done to balls (go figure). so like dumpy pike lanes i highly discourage ANYONE from using brand new balls there - i sure dont!!! they should yank out those HORRIBLE pin-UPsetters and put em out to pasture. and replace with used refurbished ones. their NOT suppose to be dogs, and pins are NOT bones for PETES sake!!!!!!! But i was told if they did put in new pinsetters , because their a lot bigger, they have to bust out the back wall to do it. WHAT??? i'm sure there must be used brunswick a2 machines identical to these available on line. i'd hate to see irate bowlers abandon curtis in favor of better maintained places like slocums because of destroyed balls. if it werent for the fact slocums is in a tight residential neighborhood, preventing a significant expansion, curtis would've been in deep dukey by now!! But hopefully NOT!! i see plenty of potential for curtis. its great they have the new brunswick stuff. but PLEASE take better care of pinsetters and replace them as necessary. and try to doctor up the outside- it looks real rundown. GHETTO!! certainly if u can afford to buy new pins a lot due to premature unwarranted abuse from GARBAGE pinsetters,then i'd like to see the place cleaned up as well. granted, of course bowling balls may beat up pins but not like that!!! a round object hitting another round object does NOT result in gouges, belt burns or shaving the plastic off around the neck area. ABSURD!! otherwise i hope curtis hangs tuff and knock em dead!!! it is NOT impossible to restore it to a leading area house it once was. i have faith in you!!! at least curtis doesnt have a mean, surly, arrogant scoundrel for an owner who thinks he can get a head by burning down the competition. having the integrity to refrain from stooping so low as to commiting such unspeakable abomination is important!!! finally, despite my venting about the machines, thanks a lot for the old out-of-service pins. they'll be put to good use, i'm sure. in the future, theres a website called done rite (google it) that specializes in resurfacing and repair of such pins, and save u lots of $$$ , hope it helps!!! good luck. later!!!!!!|
|Comment Date: 1/5/2010 Name: NJMak|
| Mr Curtis was a nice guy. To bad his son was a screw up. His father would have loved to let him run the place. From what I here it's turned into a dive... to bad. My father used to maintain the machines for Mr Curtis. He started there back in the 60's and continued until the place was sold to the new owners. Apparently they thought they could do the preventive maintenace themselves... Nice joke, nobody ever maintained a Brunswick machine better than my father. He still doing to this day, and he's 74. I used to help my faher in the summertime, my initials and a date are on every part I ever repaired or replaced. Without well running machines it's only a matter of time before the place vanishes for good. What a shame...|
|Comment Date: 11/28/2009 Name: Mercer County Bowler|
|Curtis Suburban Lanes USED to be one of the premier bowling centers in the area. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Curtis hosted many of the top bowling leagues and tournaments in the state of New Jersey. The Mercer County Majors was the most competitive league around and the Holy Name League which consisted of 80 teams was by far, the largest league in the area, if not the entire state. In 1977, Curtis Lanes also hosted a PBA summer stop (the Great Adventure Open).
Unfortunately, the "glory days" of Mercer County bowling and in particular at Curtis Lanes; are long gone! The current owners, who purchased the center approximately 15 years ago really need to invest some more time and money into this center! Aside from putting out an "easy" condition which favors bowlers who "like em' when they hook", there aren't many other positive aspects about this place!
The outside of this bowling center needs some serious cleaning up (as does the insides, but I'll get to that in a minute). The condition of the parking lot is a disaster with pot holes everywhere, not to mention trash everywhere. Aside from the two "ashtrays" which are out front, the outer perimeter of this facility is disgusting! There have been many nights where I have seen garbage, countless cigarette butts and beer bottles laying on the ground outside the back door (facing the Mercer County library).
The actual business sign to this place seems to be the original sign which was installed in the early 1960's! If they were going for the "retro look" the sign would fit in great but unfortunately, that is not the case here!
Now, on to the interior of this bowling center .. aside from the Brunswick scorers/ball returns (many of which are cracked or broken), masking units, score tables/counters and stained carpet which were all installed when the owners purchased the center; there has been very little moderization here! The WOOD lanes are still the original lanes which were installed in the 1960's. The interior design/decoration is basically circa 1960's as well!
They used to have a small bar located on the concourse which is never used anymore but instead, there are 2 large screen televisions which look like they might have been picked up at a flea market or yard sale sitting on top. Looks very trashy if you ask me!
In my opinion, the Pro Shop is a joke. Back in the 1970's and 1980's, Curtis Lanes actually had one of the premier pro shops in Mercer County. Although it changed hands a few times, each of the pro shop operators were all highly regarded among local bowlers. Currently, I'm not sure if they lease the Pro Shop out or actually run it themselves, but I would be embarassed to own a bowling center with a pro shop that looks like the one at Curtis Lanes! Sure, there is a limited amount of bowling equipment on display but aside from that, it looks like a storage room/a bowler's personal locker room! The pro shop operator might do a fine job at laying out and drilling bowling equipment, but just like with the rest of the bowling center, a little TLC and modernization is needed.
Next order of business would be the restrooms. Beware, if you do have to use the restrooms which are located down alongside of lane #1; do not wear your bowling shoes in there! The bathrooms are filthy and the floors are usually extremely wet! Aside from the obvious lack of cleanliness, these bathrooms are also in need of a serious upgrade!
The "restaurant" which is called Naticchia's Grille is more like a luncheonette rather than a restaurant. I believe this is sub-leased and not operated by the owners of Curtis Lanes but I will say that the menu prices are extremely high! I will say that the few items in which I have tried are pretty decent, by no means should a bowling center luncheonette have prices comparable to Applebee's or TGI Fridays! I don't care how good the burgers are, but close to costing $10 for a burger, fries and the fixings is pretty expensive for bowling center fare! My other complaint with Naticchia's Grille aside from their steep prices is their hours of operation. I personally bowl 2 nights each week at Curtis, and unlike other centers in the area which have food available when the bowlers are finished with leagues, food is NOT available once the leagues are over. This does not make sense whatsoever!! Myself and my teammates are forced to go to another area restaurant (usually Slocum's Bowling Center & Grille which is open) after we bowl since we can not eat at Curtis. Pretty silly is you ask me! One would think that the owners would want the business but I suppose not!
The last thing in which I will review is the bar. The bar at Curtis is fairly large and has alot of potential if the desire was there by the owners to increase business. For some crazy reason, they do NOT offer draft beer and in fact, Curtis Lanes never has offered it since it has been in business. As far as I know, unlike other bowling centers in the area; they also do not have any form of entertainment such as DJs or bands. Other than having a few televisions, the bar at Curtis Lanes is far from being a Mercer County "hot spot" unlike the Firkin Tavern around the corner, Wildflowers, Slocum's Bowling Center & Grille or the All Call Inn.
In conclusion, my opinion of Curtis Lanes is that it is in dire need of some cleaning, modernization and initiative from the current owners. If you are a league bowler who likes a dry/easy condition to boost your ego, than Curtis is the place for you! If you are a family looking for a day/night out or someone in the "younger crowd", you might want to try Slocum's Bowling Center (a mile or 2 away) or Colonial Lanes (in Lawrence) which is rumored to have a major renovation coming up to become a state of the art bowling facility.
If I were to give an overall grade to this bowling center, I would have to place a C- tag on this place. My suggestion is to CLEAN the place up, spend some money on modernizing the center a little bit and for the love of god; the owner/management/employees definitely need a visit from Extreme Makeover. To say that their appearance is not professional is putting it lightly! It's a business for Pete's sake! |
|Comment Date: 2/27/2009 Name: ron papsmere|
|hey hank were you in the office at curtis when you typed that comment?? sounds a lot like you could be the owner. place couldnt be any more dirty and the only reason people bowl there is so they can boost there confidence up. i think i wanna try me some of that kakane|
|Comment Date: 1/3/2009 Name: Hank Smitty|
|Curtis is an amazing place, it's like my second family to me. The workers are always so pleasurable and the food is FANTABULOUS. My kids and I always come here for good clean and family fun. The prices can't get any better..if your looking for some cheap foun that won't burn a hole in your pocket come on down to Curtis!|
|Comment Date: 10/14/2008 Name: bowler in the area|
|out of the 4 bowling alleys in the area curtis is the best by far. Open bowling times never have oil anywhere you go but league play probly the best shot around. Good food and beer. |
|Comment Date: 6/26/2008 Name: Anonymous|
|It's a great place to go to hang out with friend. The lanes are not too great since balls always seem to get stuck. The food from the Diner is amazing, and the machines are not as expensive as other places in the area.|
|Comment Date: 5/27/2008 Name: Ron Papp|
|Scores are not the best in the area and its always dirty there|
|Comment Date: 2/28/2008 Name: Anonymous|
|Curtis is not very good at all the priced are cheap but that also bring all the gang members in there. And the bar tender thinks she knows everthing and is ver stuck up and slow and lazy|
|Comment Date: 7/29/2007 Name: Harry Feltersnatch|
|Lanes were easy and beer cheap but bartender at night was terrible. For the guy who said he is 200+ in PA then he must stink.|
|Comment Date: 9/16/2006 Name: Anonymus|
|I think that Curtis Lanes is a pretty good place to have fun, if i'm having fun, than it's a good place for me to be. I just went there for a family outing today and we stayed for two whole hours and I had a blast! It really is a good place for a family, or even a group of friends to go out and have some fun. It's also cheap, so it's good entertainment for the family and it was only $ 30.00 for 4 people today, that's a pretty good deal when you're going out for fun for two hours. Whereas if you're going to the movies, it would be like $ 100.00, and when you go to the movies, you're just looking at a screen and you can't talk and goof around. But in a bowling ally, you can talk and goof around and just have a good time! |
|Comment Date: 4/27/2006 Name: Don|
|Nice place & cheap - but lanes are very dry. (My hook ball likes heavy oil). I come here to practice (Live in PA, work in NJ) I always do poorly here (124) and great back in PA (200+).|
|Comment Date: 6/27/2004 Name: j|
|Well, they're cheaper than Slocum's and bigger too. Since I only know of two around here, Curtis wins.|
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