Story and photos by Larry Vogel
Robin Hood Lanes, an Edmonds fixture since 1960, bid a heartfelt goodbye to the Edmonds community on Wednesday with a full day of dollar bowling, dollar beers, and dollar food items.
The iconic bowling alley on Edmonds Way closes for good on Thursday, April 25.
Robin Hood will missed by many.
Eileen Jacoby, 92, has been a regular bowler here for decades. “It’s such a shame to lose Robin Hood Lanes,” she said. “It’s been such a great place for wholesome, affordable fun for everyone from kids to seniors.”
Eileen’s regular bowling partners, Helen and Jack Peterson, couldn’t agree more. They’ve been married 62 years, and can’t remember when they haven’t bowled together. Jack, whose hip problems forced him to stop bowling a few years ago, still shows up religiously to share good times with the group. “They call us a league, but we’re more than that. We’re a group of friends who get together to bowl and have fun,” said Jack.
But it isn’t just seniors who’ll miss Robin Hood. Their customers come from all age groups, and frequently span generations in the same family.
Lifetime Edmonds resident Josi Jones bowled here as part of her advanced physical education classes at the old Edmonds High School in the late 1980s. Now she brings her own children here, and they’ve come to call Robin Hood their “home away from home.”
Jones’ children Ellis (16), Esther (13), Evie (12) and nephew Jackson Metz (10) walk or cycle down on their own to bowl several times each week. Part of Robin Hood’s Saturday youth bowling league for years, they’ve received coaching and tips from professional bowlers and lots of practice time and encouragement. “I never have to worry about where they are or what they’re doing,” Jones said. “It gives them a degree of independence that’s increasingly rare these days.”
Many Robin Hood employees have worked here for years, and will now go in separate directions.
“It’s been a wonderful run,” said restaurant manager Cindy Wilson. “First thing I’m going to do is take a little vacation with my family.” She then added with a smile, “When we get back I plan to look for a job in another bowling alley.”
Robin Hood Lanes will remain open through Thursday, April 25, when the last leagues will gather to bowl their final frames and say farewell to an Edmonds institution.