Snow Bowl in Steamboat reopens, rolls out renovated center
Editor’s note: This story was updated with Snow Bowl’s correct hours of operation.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — One of Steamboat Springs’ longest-running business, Snow Bowl, will re-open Thursday after extensive renovations that include new lanes, a redesigned interior and a refreshed and refined menu.
“Before, we were a bowling alley with a snack bar,” new owner Joel Meranski said. “Now, we are a full-service restaurant and bar with a bowling alley. We will always do well with the bowling alley, but we wanted to bring something new to the west end and create a place were people can come and enjoy time with their friends.”
Joel and his sister Meryl Meranski grew up in Steamboat Springs and put together the investment group that purchased the Snow Bowl for $852,000 in the fall of 2017. The bowling alley originally opened in 1977.
That investment group is a subsidiary of Western Centers, a Denver-based business owned by the Meranski family that purchases distressed properties and updates them. Western Centers owns and manages more than a million square feet of retail and office space.
The Snow Bowl closed for renovations last summer. The work included replacing the 12 wood lanes with new synthetic surfaces, adding a state-of-the-art scoring system and upgrading the dining room and bar area. The Meranskis also relocated the bathrooms and added an outdoor bar.
“We are not the cookie cutter bowling alley we were before,” Joel said. “We have all new lanes and ripped everything out. We started with four walls.”
As kids growing up in Steamboat, Joel and Meryl visited the Snow Bowl with their friends and as part of their school-based physical education classes.
“We were here when it was the really colorful, kind of kitschy, Snow Bowl,” Meryl said. “It’s really great to be back in town with the community and upgrade a place we know is so special to everyone. We just wanted to make it better.”
The Meranskis honored Snow Bowl’s history by repurposing the wood surfaces of the old bowling lanes into bar and table tops and incorporating old bowling pins into the kiosk where bowlers check-in and rent shoes.
They also commissioned artist Julia Dordoni to create a metallic mural that captures the mountain landscape, including Mount Werner and Fish Creek Falls.
The locker room is gone, replaced by a space that includes a new entrance. The men’s and women’s restrooms have been moved to the other side of the building.
A full commercial kitchen was constructed and a new menu created, which will include small plates, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs, sausages and a full dessert menu.
The culinary staff includes chef Pete List, who has worked at Sweet Pea Market and Restaurant, the Truffle Pig and Carl’s Tavern.
“It’s my menu, so they are all my favorites,” List said. “I think I would get the pastrami sandwich if I was ordering. We are making it from scratch, and we are smoking the pastrami in house, we are curing it in house, and we are making our own rye bread.”
“Pete is back there cooking up some really creative and delicious food,” Meryl said, “It’s new stuff that you have not seen before, but it’s approachable food.”
The Snow Bowl’s brand new bar offers plenty of seating, large screen TVs and much more.
“We will have the largest screen in Steamboat at 140 to 200 inches,” Joel said. “It’s a projector that can zoom in and out across the entire wall, so we will have fight nights, football games, and we will have movie nights.”
The bar will offer beers from local breweries, including two from Butcherknife, one from Storm Peak and another from Yampa Valley Brewing Co. There will also be whiskey and gin from the Steamboat Whiskey Company.
“We are going to try to feature as much Colorado product as we possibly can,” said lead bartender Bob Samardzic. “We are going to get to experiment starting with a fairly straight-forward specialty cocktail list, but it’s going to grow over time and change seasonally. ”
The new Snow Bowl will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 3 to 10 p.m. Sundays.
Meryl said there will be a full serving staff who will bring food to customers in the restaurant and to the seating areas on the lanes. People should go to snowbowlsteamboat.com or call 970-879-9840 to make reservations. The lanes will be rented by the hour, and rates will very depending on the day and time.
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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