BETHEL — “It’s been crazy,” is how Adrienne Goodwin, owner of River Lanes, summed up the first week of business.

She said on the first weekend, Saturday night went smoother than Friday night, mostly because people were getting used to the place’s busy atmosphere.

“People are moving around a lot. It’s hard to keep track of everybody,” Goodwin said. “We’re still trying to figure out what works best.”

Along with having people serving tables, Goodwin would eventually like to have servers near the bowling lanes too, so that people do not have to wait in line.

Goodwin said she is rethinking the idea of having online reservations for bowling lanes.

“I like the first come, first serve way,” Goodwin said. “I know people want to reserve, but we only have 10 lanes, so it could easily fill up.”

She said for birthday parties, people would be able to reserve lanes.

“I’m still thinking about how all this is going to work,” she said.

Goodwin also wants to try and set up a small bowling league before the end of this year.

A dart league plans to start playing at River Lanes on Mondays. Additional dart boards will be set up when the league plays.

Goodwin expects the dart boards to be set up soon.

Goodwin said the place was so busy during its first week of business that many items on the menu became sold out over the course of the weekend.

“The menu seems to be going very well. Everyone seems to enjoy the food,” Goodwin said.

She added that they tried to make the menu “a little bit different,” by doing pulled beef instead of pulled pork and a taco dip instead of nachos.

As of now, hours are Monday and Wednesday 3 to 10 p.m., Thursday is 11 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday is 11 to 11 p.m. and Sunday is 11 to 9 p.m. River Lanes is closed Tuesday.

Goodwin said she has got nothing but support from locals since River Lanes opened.

Goodwin comes from Mount Desert Island, but she has skied in the area for 10 years and has a camp near Mt. Abram.

“I always had to drive three hours to ski, my kids are in their mid-20s and doing their own thing,” she said.

Goodwin told her children she wanted to sell everything and open a bowling alley in Bethel. Her children were all on board with her plan.

She saw the success that Moose Alley in Rangeley and The Sugar Bowl in Carrabassett Valley have had, and thought that a similar venue in Bethel would be just as popular.

“If those … are doing well, I figured one in Bethel would do fine,” Goodwin said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: