By DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNANFEB –
When pub patrons sit down at Hoppy Daze Tap House in Otay Mesa West, they’re following in the footsteps of thousands of North County bowlers.
The bar counters at the brewpub are constructed out of bowling lanes salvaged from the former Vista Entertainment Center. When the center was demolished last year to make way for a new Honda dealership, the site’s new owners, The CAR Group, partnered with a nonprofit to reuse the maple, pine and fir planks that lined the bowling lanes for nearly 60 years. The leftover wood, instead of going to a landfill, is going to use as upcycled furniture and flooring.
Hoppy Daze owner Bruce DeMoss found the recycled planks as he was searching for bar tables and counter tops for his pub. He had envisioned a space with long tables that could seat large groups, and was looking into live edge planks — raw slabs cut from trees, with the bark still attached. But those picturesque planks cost about $4,000 apiece. So when DeMoss discovered the old bowling alley lanes planks at $200 apiece, he said he was sold.
“This was the perfect marriage,” he said. “I walked up on it and said ‘Oh, this is it.’ I didn’t shop too much after that. As soon as I saw them I knew that was what I wanted.”
He bought four of the former lanes, at a total cost of $800, hand-sanded and finished them with the help of his sons and daughter-in-law, and set the glossy planks on old bourbon barrels.[Most read] Mike Preston: Ravens’ inconsistent offense a major cause for concern | COMMENTARY »
“It was actually better than I envisioned,” he said. “When we were building it, we were like every day, this is going to be cool. It ended up above our expectations. We built it so that it was all re-purposed everything.”
There were some minor obstacles along the way. DeMoss estimates that he burned up one saw and five blades cutting the six-foot lanes down the middle into three food counter tops, since the wood was full of nails. The finished product, however, evokes a “wow” factor among Hoppy Daze customers, with its sleek, modern surface and intact lane markers. Most importantly, the extra-long planks provide the extended space he sought for customers.
“Everything is clean and straight and square,” DeMoss said. “They’re long tables, which is one of the reasons why people like coming into our place, because they can bring big groups.”
The lanes came on the market early last year, when the CAR Group teamed up with the nonprofit Deconstruction & ReUse Network, which specializes in diverting used building materials from the waste stream.
The reuse network formed a decade ago, and since then has completed 365 salvage projects, diverting nearly 7,500 tons of rough lumber and finished building materials from the waste stream, Lorenz Schilling, founder and president of the network, said last year.[Most read] CBS announcer apologizes after calling Ravens QB Lamar Jackson ‘Murray’ during game vs. Bengals »
Besides offering inexpensive construction materials to business owners such as DeMoss, the exchange provided the CAR Group with recycling credits toward its application for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Vista dealership.
Most of the other lumber pulled from the former bowling alley has gone to individual homeowners, who said they planned to use them for large tables, benches and counters, Schilling said. Another 18 lanes will become furniture for the communal space in a new Persea housing development in Vista, he said.
As DeMoss sees it, the planks he bought for his pub have stood the test of time.
“I knew that they’re going to last forever,” DeMoss said. “Once I saw them, I though after I finish this we’ll never have to do anything. If they can take bowling balls they can certainly take beer glasses.”