Hillsborough Street is losing its bowling alley.
Chris Poole, who has owned The Alley since 2008, said he’s planning to move his business to Durham. The Alley’s last day at 2512 Hillsborough St. is set for Nov. 26.
Poole said he signed a 10-year lease when he took over the business and made several improvements to the facility, including upgrades to the bar and restaurant, an indoor deck area and a balcony facing the N.C. State University campus.
“We all but quadrupled business since we started,” he said. “It was a profitable business, for sure.”
Deciding to leave Hillsborough Street was tough, but Poole said his business may soon be bought out of its lease to make way for a new tenant.
A small-scale Target store is rumored to be moving in. The building’s owner, Paul Blomquist, did not respond to requests for comment. Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker said the company did not have any plans to share regarding a new store in Raleigh.
The new bowling alley is planned to open by next summer at the Liberty Warehouse on Foster Street, near the Durham Farmers’ Market.
Poole hopes to downsize from 24 to eight lanes and have an expanded dining room that serves upscale bar food.
“That’s the whole idea, is you can come in and have a great meal and won’t even know there’s a bowling alley there,” Poole said.
The concept will be similar to The Alley’s sister location in Charleston, S.C., which is run by Poole’s brother, Jimmy Poole. The pair own the two locations together with business partners.
The building on Hillsborough Street that houses The Alley was built in 1960, according to city records.
“It’s the end of an era here,” Poole said. “It’s going to be a sad day.”
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi