Plaza Lanes Origin Story:
From humble beginnings to the modern facility you see today, our journey has been a wild ride.
Plaza Lanes’ story began in 1956 when Bob Lehman built the facility for Ray and Betty Blackburn. In May of 1964, Kenny and Florence Evans, along with Harold and Lucille “Sike” Rhoad bought the bowling alley out of bankruptcy. Harold and Sike had only bowled in one league and did not know how to keep score before jumping in at Plaza Lanes. One year later, the Evans family wanted out and the Rhoad family became the sole owners.
In the beginning, Harold jumped into the business head first. Having an aptitude for mechanics, he taught himself to fix the pinsetters and drill bowling balls. Sike tackled the enormous job of handling the office work. They began their first remodel in 1978 with new pinsetters, underground ball returns, a new bar and a pro shop.
In 1981, Roger and Charlie joined the ownership team. By 1990, Roger and Charlie had taken over the day to day operations and kept things rolling. Then in 1995, Charlie sold his portion of the business to Roger and headed to Las Vegas. Roger began making several improvements to the facility starting in 1996 with bumper bowling and followed with glow bowling in 1997. In 2001, brand new synthetic lanes were added along with a new oiling machine. The same year also saw the addition of Cameo Pizza in addition to the bar remodel. Jordan, Roger’s son, joined his dad in running the business in 2006 after returning from Phoenix.
March 18th, 2008 marked the end of an era. Roger and Jordan both received calls telling them that there was a fire at Plaza. Both rushed to the scene to see flames coming through the roof. Clyde, Green Springs, Sandusky Township and Ballville Township fire departments responded and put over 200,000 gallons of water on the building. The Rhoad family was left with an estimated 2 million dollars in damages.
In July of 2008, the Rhoad family announced it would rebuild Plaza Lanes as a bigger facility. The project took approximately 11 months to complete and saw an extra seven thousand square feet added to the new building. The new place included a black light mini golf, dedicated arcade area and a bar big enough for live entertainment and dart leagues.
Over the next few years, Roger began to step back from his in center responsibilities and passed them on to Jordan. In 2014 Jordan was elected as an officer of the Bowling Centers Association of Ohio. He served as Sergeant at Arms, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and in 2019 was elected President. In 2021, he began to upgrade and remodel areas of the center. The mini golf has become an area for dart leagues and hosts Links at the Lanes, a virtual golf simulator. The scoring system was updated to add the ability to book lanes online and view live scores. New carpeting will be added at the end of August.
Our family continues to strive to make Plaza Lanes one of the best places for family entertainment. We will continue to do our best to bring great entertainment to the area. We want our place to be somewhere you and your friends can gather and celebrate!