Located at 2330 17th St., in Portsmouth, Sunset Lanes bowling alley has become a staple for entertainment and fun for the area. If you’ve been by recently, you may notice that the front facade of the building is receiving a face lift.
When Ken and Janet Clark took over as owners, two years ago, they made it their mission to re-create the space to better suit the needs of the bowling community.
“We’ve made quite a few renovations,” explained Ken. “We’ve remodeled the inside, replaced carpet, replaced the roof, and fixed the air-conditioning, just general upgrades.”
Artist Mike Doherty has been working with the Clarks to revitalize the old sign, and create a new one-of-a-kind piece of art for Portsmouth.
“The sign was getting old, the letters were loose and it was getting rusted,” Doherty said. “One of our employees, Catherine Kleinke, put us in touch with Mike after we’d been talking about the possibility of replacing the sign. She let us know that he did that kind of work.”
Doherty has a history with mural painting and artistry, working alongside Robert Dafford (known for his work on the flood-wall murals) for over 10 years. Doherty currently works on the restoration and preservation of the flood-wall murals, alongside creating works for businesses and residential painting.
“I’m about halfway through the process,” said Doherty. “I’m hoping to be finished by the end of the week depending on the weather.”
The sign was originally created in 1958 by Fred Tindall, who has since retired to Florida. His son David still lives locally, and is a friend of Doherty.
As for the concept of the sign, Clark says it was mostly up to Doherty.
Doherty plans to create a photo-realistic sunset by painting it on to the existing letters. Sprucing them up from their currently flat-white state.
“I’ve done a lot of work in the past, but this something I’ve never done before,” explained Doherty. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked with such limited space, but I’m excited to see how it turns out.”
The Clarks said the response from the bowling community has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have a lot of seniors that have been bowling here for years,” explained Ken. “They’re very appreciative of the fact that we’ve taken the time to invest in the place and make the renovations. It’s also helped with new business, people have been receptive to coming in to a nice place.”
Sunset Lanes services bowling leagues, parties, and caters to anyone interested in bowling, for more information or to make a reservation for a lane, you can call 740-353-9125. You can also find them on Facebook by searching “Sunset Lanes.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara