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04/29/15 3:00pm
04/29/2015 3:00 PM
Pete Victoria has been bowling at Riverhead's Polish Hall for the past decade. It is believed that on Monday night he bowled the first-ever perfect 300 game at the historic basement lanes. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Pete Victoria has been bowling at Riverhead’s Polish Hall for the past decade. It is believed that on Monday night he bowled the first-ever perfect 300 game at the historic basement lanes. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Written in multi-color marker on a dry erase board next to the basement bowling lanes at Polish Hall in Riverhead is the alley’s “300 Club.”

There’s just one entry: Pete Victoria 4/27/15.

Despite being heralded as Suffolk County’s first bowling alley and perhaps even one of the state’s oldest, it was believed that no one had ever rolled a perfect game at Polish Hall until Monday. The first person to accomplish the feat is Mr. Victoria, a 61-year-old plumber from Mattituck.  (more…)

03/23/15 10:00am
03/23/2015 10:00 AM
Dave Gruner, 74, of Jamesport strung together game scores of 278, 254 and 289 for an 821 series at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead on March 12. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Dave Gruner, 74, of Jamesport strung together game scores of 278, 254 and 289 for an 821 series at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead on March 12. (Credit: Garret Meade)


In bowling, 300 is unquestionably the sexy number. Dropping down 300 pins in one game is perfection.

Even so, other numbers can be more desirable and more appreciated.

Meet Mr. 800. Well, Mr. 821, to be exact. (more…)

08/06/13 1:55pm
08/06/2013 1:55 PM

liveblogClick below to read blog recap.

The Riverhead Town Board is expected to vote on resolutions declaring the previous owner of the All Star bowling center property on Route 25 in default of a 2009 agreement in which the town Planning Board allowed the owner to put off payment of about $48,000 in water district “key” money.

The board also is expected to vote on a resolution approving a number of special events in town and to authorize change orders for the town ballfields in Calverton.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. and News-Review reporter Tim Gannon will be live blogging.

Click below to follow or comment. The full agenda is listed below that.

August 6, 2013 – Agenda by Riverhead News-Review

August 6, 2013 – Packet by Riverhead News-Review

07/27/13 12:00pm
07/27/2013 12:00 PM

The proposed sign at The All-Star, which would have featured a large bowling ball and pin on top.

The All Star’s request for a new sign consisting of a large bowling bowl and pin is going back for revisions.

At a public hearing Thursday night, the Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals told the applicants to revisit the town’s Architectural Review Board and come back with a sign the ARB approves.

The All Star, on Route 25 in Riverhead, just west of County Road 105, is seeking variances from the ZBA to allow the sign, which would exceed town size requirements.

The All Star’s name doesn’t include the word “bowling” in it, because the owners want it to be known as more than a bowling alley, they said. But they also feel people driving by don’t recognize that it is a bowling alley.

The All Star had originally sought an electronic sign with moving images, but withdrew that due to community opposition, before any hearings were held. Two weeks ago The All Star came back to the ZBA with a proposal for a large bowling ball and pin on a pedestal. That plan was redesigned to remove the phone number and include the alley’s logo.

Chris Smith, one of The All Star’s owners, said they need a sign that will tell people they’re a bowling alley.

“People drive by and they think it’s a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall or something,” he said. “It doesn’t look like what it is.”

The planning department has measured the proposed bowling ball and pin as being 96 square feet, well over the 32-square-foot maximum allowed by the Town Code and therefore requiring a ZBA variance.

But Mr. Smith disagreed with town’s measurement method. He said the town is just drawing an imaginary box around the proposed structure, which would include “the air around it” as part of the square footage.

He claims the proposed sign is 32 square feet. He said two weeks ago that the bowling pin would be six feet high and would sit on a 10-foot pedestal, with the ball next to it.

The proposed new sign ran into opposition from the ARB and from some residents who spoke at Thursday’s hearing for a variance of the town’s requirements.

“I’m glad the bowling alley is there, I wish them success, but we don’t need a sign that’s two or three times bigger than what the law allows,” said resident Nancy Dillingham. “When they built it, they knew the law.”

“I commend them on finishing the building and opening the business. It looks really nice the way it is,” said Andrea Hanulec, who lives across the street from The All Star. “But I would really hate to see an eyesore of a sign on the road. I consider us the beginning of the North Fork where we are and I would hate to see it marching on, the kind of things that are going on to the west of us.”

Mr. Smith agreed with Ms. Hanulec’s assessment of the North Fork.

But he said the sign they’re seeking is not large in the context of the property’s size.

Richard Searles, chairman of the town’s Architectural Review Board, said the ARB had some issues with the proposed sign.

“We didn’t think it conformed to what we’d like to see at that particular site,” he said. “We’d like to see something different, other than what he proposed.”

ZBA chairman Fred McLaughlin suggested The All Star go back to the ARB and come up with a sign the ARB likes before coming back to the ZBA.

ZBA voted to continue the hearing on Aug. 27 after the ARB makes a recommendation.

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07/18/13 1:00pm
07/18/2013 1:00 PM
Bowling Alley in Riverhead

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The All Star bowling alley on Route 25 Riverhead.

Owners of The All Star bowling alley in Riverhead are no longer seeking to install an electronic sign in front of their Route 25 business, something area residents have opposed ever since catching wind of the plan.

Instead, they are now seeking to have a large bowling ball and pin structure in front of the Main Road building.

The pin would be six feet tall and would sit on a 10-foot tall pedestal, bringing the top to 16 feet. The structure would need variances from the Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals.

Chris Smith, one of the owners, told ZBA board members last week that people driving by who aren’t familiar with the business don’t know what type of business is there.

They’ve had some trouble drawing people in the summer, he said.

The official name of the business is The All Star, with no mention of bowling.

“We want the opportunity to show the public that we are a bowling alley,” he said, adding that since the area already has farm stands with giant strawberries out front, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have a giant bowling pin.

(Read more below)

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The sign now planned for All Star would feature space to announce upcoming events.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The sign now planned would contain space to announce upcoming events.

But ZBA member Otto Wittmeier asked why the owners don’t have the word “bowling” in their business’ name.

Mr. Smith said that they don’t want to be known as just a bowling alley, since there is a restaurant and bar, game room and often live music at the business as well.

They need ZBA variances for the height of the proposed sign, which is one foot over the 15-foot height limit, and for the overall square footage, which is 96 square feet, instead of the maximum permitted square footage of 32 square feet.

They also seek permission to have a telephone number on the sign, something the town doesn’t allow, and which ZBA members said they won’t allow.

Jeff Rimland, another owner of the business, said in an interview after last Thursday’s ZBA meeting that he feels it’s not accurate to say the proposed sign is 96 square feet. In coming up with that number, the town essentially drew an imaginary box around the outskirts of the sign.

This, he said, is counting “air” as part of the sign’s square footage.

The All Star originally proposed an internally lit digital sign in front of the business, but that met with a number of letters in opposition, saying it was out of step with the character of Main Road and the North Fork as a whole.

The ZBA originally scheduled a hearing for the digital sign proposal on April 25, but it was adjured or rescheduled a number of times.

A number of residents who live nearby had attended the scheduled May 9 hearing to voice their opposition to the internally lit sign, but that hearing never took place because Mr. Rimland forgot to bring proof that mailings were sent to neighboring residents to notify them of the it.

ZBA member Leroy Barnes said they have had numerous adjournments of hearings of late, on The All Star’s and those of other proposals, which he feels dilutes the public’s response to projects, and he suggested the ZBA crack down on it.

There were only two speakers at last Thursday’s hearing on the sign, and both were representatives of the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, an association of civic groups.

Dominique Mendez, the group’s president, read a letter from South Jamesport resident Larry Simms, who said a 96-square-foot sign is a billboard, not a sign, and that he sees no reason the applicant can’t find a way to comply with the town code without needing a ZBA variance because there are no trees concealing the sign. Phil Barbato, the group’s vice president, also urged ZBA members to deny the variance requests, saying that this area is “becoming Jericho Turnpike all over again. It’s creeping east.”

The ZBA took no action on the proposal and the hearing was held over to the July 25 meeting.

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01/09/13 10:00am
01/09/2013 10:00 AM

With the core of last year’s team returning this season, Riverhead boys bowling coach Scott Hackal expected his team to be competitive. With a trio of experienced seniors in the rotation alongside a pair of talented eighth-graders, the Blue Waves had the right mix of youth and veterans.

It’s all added up to a strong season for Riverhead, 30-3 winners over Deer Park Tuesday afternoon at Deer Park Bowl. Currently in third place in League III, the Blue Waves are in position to earn a trip to the county tournament. Their 141 1/2 points have them looking up only to Longwood (181) and Sachem East (149 1/2) in the league.

“We’re right in the playoff hunt, so that’s where we want to be,” Hackal said. “We’ve bowled pretty well. We lost a couple tough games by under five pins.”

The Blue Waves got big performances Tuesday from junior Donald Visek, eighth-grader Forrest Vail and senior Austin Douglas. All three bowled series of over 600.

Visek led the way with a 664 series, including a high game of 236. It was the highest score of the afternoon for the Blue Waves.

In 24 games bowled, Visek leads the team with a 203 average.

“He’s been the biggest surprise,” Hackal said. “He’s averaging almost 30 pins over from last year.”

Vail and Douglas both had big games Tuesday. Vail posted a season-high 649 series. His 232 in the second game was also a season high.

Douglas rolled a season-high series as well with a 629. His 222 in the second game was his tops for the year.

Eighth-grader Jonathan Visek bowled the final two games and posted two impressive scores. He had a 211 and a 213.

Vail and Visek were both on the varsity team last year as seventh-graders.

“They’ve turned it up,” Hackal said. “They’ve raised their average quite a bit.”

The Blue Waves have relied mostly on six bowlers to handle most of the load this season. Senior Louis Ambrosio has been a key bowler with a 180 average. Senior Kyle Irwin has posted a 181 average.

The Blue Waves missed out on qualifying for the county tournament last year. At this rate, that shouldn’t be the case this season.

“We’re getting better each match,” Hackal said. “The last four or five matches we’ve just been getting better and better. Cutting down on easy misses and putting some strikes together.”

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06/11/11 9:24pm
06/11/2011 9:24 PM

Members of the Riverhead High School bowling team came out to Wildwood Bowl Saturday night to throw a few strikes during a fundraiser in support of their fellow teammate, 14-year-old Michael Hubbard.

The event, organized by bowling team captain John Horton and Michael’s cousin Kris Smalls, was attended by about 100 of Michael’s friends as well as his teammates.

Michael was burned in a citronella gel candle accident at his aunt’s Riverhead home May 28. His mother Nancy was also burned in the incident. The money raised will go toward their medical bills.

The total amount of money raised was not immediately available.

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BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Johnathan Horton, co-caption of RHS bowling team (front right), with some of the students who particiapted in the fundraiser Saturday night at Wildwood Bowl.