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Demolition begins at Sunset Bowl

Posted by Geeky Swedes on January 20th, 2010

This afternoon demolition crews began tearing down Sunset Bowl, a popular Ballard bowling alley and neighborhood hangout that opened in 1957. The new owners, Avalon, plan to build an apartment complex on the land.

After several delays, the heavy equipment moved in and took its first bite out of the building, just before 1 o’clock.

Onlookers gathered outside the chain link fence and watched, some with tears in their eyes, as Sunset Bowl came down. Earlier today, former employees toured the building to say their final goodbyes.

“I’m not doing as well as I thought I would,” one former employee tells us. “This is sad. Really sad.”

Russ Lloyd Demolition is doing the work. Russ tells us it will take a few days to take the whole building down. After that, the debris will be hauled away. As for the property, Avalon said this morning that it has no immediate plans to move forward with the development.

Thank you, Gerry for emailing us this great photo!Genevieve Alvarez at The Seattle Times produced this video.

Earlier today: Employees say a final farewell to Sunset Bowl
Last April: A look at the development replacing Sunset Bowl

Tags: Ballard   Share

37 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Ballardista // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Goodbye dear dear friend. When we needed fun, you provided. May the empty, idle site, be a reminder to the community and especially the family which pawned you off, of the affects of short sightedness.

  • 2 RudyT // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I really liked Sunset Bowl…but demolition really is awesome to witness. Thanks for the video!

  • 3 mwm37 // Jan 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    that hose is a pretty lame attempt at dust mitigation.

  • 4 RudyT // Jan 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    especially considering the demo was delayed due to an abundance of asbestos found inside :-

  • 5 dij // Jan 21, 2010 at 12:46 am

    boy were you ugly Sunset Bowl, but that's nothing compared to the abandoned lot that will sit there for a year and a half unused. Can we put up some green lasers like they did in Capitol Hill?

  • 6 raisedbed // Jan 21, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Even though I knew it was coming… it's still quite sad. My husband and I had our first “official” date there. Getting drunk, bowling, and having a wonderful time getting to know someone I knew was going to be a special one, I'll always have the memories!!

  • 7 Bark more, Wag Less // Jan 21, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Yeah, I'm sure that's how the family feels with $10 million in the bank. How short sighted they were.

  • 8 ballardmike // Jan 21, 2010 at 5:42 am


  • 9 Gel Mibson // Jan 21, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Man, this is sad. The times I had there. Dad waking us up on Saturdays for league, friends and family, throwing a big hook, fighting with girlfriends, junior league, moonlight bowling, the awards, recently the happy hours, the pancakes, renewing your locker each year, renting a lane for an hour and 1st game shooting 250 and packing it up after one game b/c it wasn't going to get better than that………sad. very sad. GB Sunset, you might be gone but not forgotten.

  • 10 jwakey // Jan 21, 2010 at 7:11 am

    that is just hard to watch. so sad.

  • 11 Dave S // Jan 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Bye Sunset. No more late-night bowling, followed by late night coffee at Denny's.

    Du er savnet. Denne er en trist dag for Seattle.

  • 12 d. taylor // Jan 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Where am I going to buy my crack now?

  • 13 Vanwho // Jan 22, 2010 at 12:49 am

    That is really sad…

  • 14 mousefx // Jan 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Why does Ballard have to evolve into “little Bellevue” this will be a sad Syndetta Mai 2010


  • 15 mousefx // Jan 22, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Don't worry this lot will sit there, clear of the building like the HOLE at Stone way, I think the HOLE has been there for 5 or 6 years now, and now we have another HOLE in Greenlake.

    I predict that nothing will be built on the Dennys site and the Sunset site for the next 10 to 15 years due to this economy Uff-Da!

  • 16 mousefx // Jan 22, 2010 at 4:41 am


  • 17 mousefx // Jan 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    My heart sank that day of January 20th 2010 don't forget the good times, the loves that were created here, the memeories, the laughter, the tears, the good times birthdays, kids graduating from Ballard High etc..!

    The bad times, the market fall in the 80's, Regan getting shot, the shuttle going kabloie over the US etc….

    Life happened here at Sunset Bowl in this Ballard community!

    now its gone but not forgotten I Love Ballard and all the people in it

  • 18 d. taylor // Jan 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Why do you call yourself mouse, because you have a pea-sized brain? Instead of bemoaning simpler times and cursing condos take the time to learn the facts. I know the family that sold the property and they offered to sell it to other interested parties but many backed out because they didn't have the resources to profit from it. There weren't exactly a lot of people lining up to buy a bowling alley or turn it into a park. They were losing money on operating it as an alley. It wasn't like they had the $10 million before selling it. If you had the resources to buy it and lose money on it you should have done it.

  • 19 mousefx // Jan 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Ok Mr Taylor insulticus inferiourus, obvioulsy you never had a CB radio in Ballard years ago otherwise you would know me.

    Tit for Tat, I stand corrected, thank you for the info. Enjoy your wondeful life in Little Bellevue (once known as Ballard)

  • 20 SPG // Jan 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    While we're making predictions… the Denny's replacement is a cheap eyesore and the Sunset Bowl replacement is a less cheap and somewhat acceptable design so I'm guessing the Denny's replacement will get built and the Sunset Bowl replacement will not until the developer cheapens it into an ugly flimsy box that then gets built in 5 years.

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