As her mom Alison and five-year-old sister Claire looked on, Lily Varin, eight, bowled at Willowbrook Lanes recently. The bowling alley, which opened Canada Day 1981, is closing April 30. The building will be used for a grocery store.

Willowbrook Lanes bowls its last strike April 30

The bowling alley will close to make way for Hannam Supermarket, a Korean grocery store

This time it’s certain. April 30 will be Willowbrook Lanes’ last day as a bowling alley.

What has been an institution for Langleyites will shutter to make way for a Korean grocery store called Hannam.

Willowbrook Lanes manager Eileen Seo said many people grew up bowling at Willowbrook Lanes, so it’s really the end of an era.

“There are lots of mixed reactions, some undertone of disappointment, since Willowbrook Lanes has been here for a long time and lots of memories were shared here, such as birthdays, office parties, first dates and sports team windups,” Seo said.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Langley have held their annual bowl-a-thon at Willowbrook Lanes for decades.

Hannam Supermarket Inc. was established on 1998 and was the first Korean supermarket in Vancouver. Currently, there are two locations, one in Burnaby and one in Surrey. But stores are scheduled to open in Vancouver and North Vancouver this year, as well as Langley.

Hannam provide over 20,000 Korean grocery products, including produce, housewares, household appliances and beauty products. The Langley store’s opening date isn’t known yet.

It was last May that longtime owners Bob and Cheryl Randall, said goodbye to the bowling alley they operated for three decades.

The new owners plan to have a closing day party and will post information about it at the bowling alley, Seo said. They are grateful to the community and hope to welcome them to the supermarket when it opens.

“We would like to thank the community and all the customers for sharing their special times with us. We especially appreciate Big Brothers, C.A.R.E.S., the schools and our disability groups. Even after Willowbrook Lanes turns into Hannam Supermarket, we will continue to work with community by involving in community activities and donations,” said Seo.

Willowbrook Lanes opened on Canada Day, 1981 at 6350 196 St., off Willowbrook Drive.

Five years later to the day, July 1, 1986, it was acquired by the Randalls, who operated it for more than 30 years.

The nearest bowling alleys are Clover Lanes at 5814 176A street and Alder Alley bowling lanes at 27070 Fraser Hwy. in Aldergrove.

monique@langleytimes.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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