Cambridge’s Favorite Bowling Alley, Lanes & Games, May Close

The bowling alley could be demolished to make way for apartments.

Photo via iStock/Jonas Velin

According to documents making the rounds online today, legendary Cambridge bowling alley Lanes & Games may be nearing the end of its days.

A developer, Waltham’s Criterion Development Partners, seeks to convert the property into multi-family housing with quick access to the Red Line. The development would be called “The Residences at Alewife Station,” according to documents filed with the city (and then shared on Reddit). The project would also redevelop the nearby Cambridge Gateway Inn hotel. The plans call for both the bowling alley and the hotel to be demolished.

Reached by phone, Lanes & Games owner Tony Martignetti declined to comment, saying, “At this time I can’t comment on it, but maybe at a later date.”

A Criterion Development Partners executive was not immediately available for an interview.

As Universal Hub reports, meetings to discuss the project are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow. The North Cambridge Stabilization Committee, a neighborhood advocacy group, meets at 7 p.m. tonight at 50 Churchill Avenue. The Cambridge Conservation Commission meets Thursday at 7 p.m., at the DPW on 147 Hampshire Street.

Construction would need approval because “the property is partially located in the floodplain,” Commission Administrator Jennifer Letourneau writes in an email. “As long as compensatory flood storage is created then the project meets the criteria for a permit under the Wetlands Protection Act.”

Lanes & Games, a frequent Best of Boston awardee, is a longtime home base for bowling leagues and casual players alike, and also has an impressive array of competition-grade pinball machines.

Here’s what Boston had to say about the place, a bustling out-of-the-way fun emporium seemingly transported from another time, in 2003:

Bowling is enjoying an indubitable renaissance as of late, with funky alleys attracting a quasi-hipster bar crowd. But as much as we enjoy our fancy drinks, bowling is at heart a sport of beer in plastic cups and no-glam atmosphere. Lanes & Games in Cambridge has never had an identity crisis about what it is: a legitimately retro bowling alley (note the circa-1947 interior) with 54 lanes of candlepin and tenpin, a pro shop, and lots of leagues. From the “Grip it and Rip It” stickers to the bowling bag-sized lockers in the restrooms, this is the real deal.