In the early days at Bay View Bowl on South Kinnickinnic Avenue, pin boys stood at the end of each lane to manually place pins in their triangle formation for the next frame.
“They got paid a penny a pin or something,” said owner Mike Kosinski. He and his wife, Andrea, have operated the 12-lane bowling alley and bar for 21 years.
The iconic establishment has been around since 1925. While pins are no longer set by hand, its wooden lanes are believed to be original – or close to it – and automated Brunswick pinsetters date back to the ‘60s and ‘70s, Kosinski said.
Maintenance is a huge part of Bay View Bowl’s 14-employee operation. All 12 lanes are cleaned and oiled once a day, and every other year, the surface is sanded and leveled in order to meet bowling league standards and certifications.
It’s a lot to keep up with, but business right now is the best it’s been in 20 years, which Kosinski attributes to recent growth throughout the Bay View neighborhood.
“Bowling is back and very popular,” he said.