Locals old enough to remember the smooth croonings of Perry Como and Jerry Vale likely remember that the names of Czernicki and Gillis once loomed large in the lore of candlepin bowling, a sport with a New England heritage. Czernicki was a champion of the genre, and Gillis drew strong ratings as the host of a local candlepin TV show.
What brings these candlepin giants to mind is an announcement by Patriot Place that the shopping-and-entertainment complex in Foxborough is getting ready to welcome Splitsville Luxury Lanes to its store line-up.
But for good or ill, "luxury lane" bowling does not include candlepins --- Splitsville offers strictly fat-pin bowling --- a.k.a. 10-pin bowling. (Maybe that's just as well. For someone who appreciates the lost art of knocking down a half-Worcester, one of the toughest dead-wood shots in candlepin, the words bowling and luxury seem unlikely neighbors in the same sentence. Quick question: What's the appropriate shirt-and-shoe fashion choice for luxury bowling?)
In any event, Patriot Place suggests that no expense has been spared in making Splitsville a 20,000-square-foot shrine to luxury 10-pin bowling. To high-light that fact, there's a 38-foot-tall outdoor bowling pin at Splitsville that changes colors to sync to the seasons. For example, the pin will be red, white, and blue during Patriots games, green on St. Patrick's Day, and pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
There's also a dinner-theater component to Splitsville --- a show called "Howl at the Moon." More on that later.
Describing Splitsville, a Patriot Place press release says: "Making its New England debut, Splitsville will showcase its unique design and retro-style décor with some New England flare. The interior features 12 luxury bowling lanes, Patriots-themed bowling balls, ample indoor and outdoor seating, and hand-painted wall murals displaying New England scenes and sports teams along with a larger-than-life Pat Patriot bowling ball."
In a statement, Patriot Place general manager Brian Earley added that Splitsville offers "state-of-the-art bowling, dining, and entertainment for guests of all ages."
State-of-the-art bowling indeed.
As for "Howl at the Moon," the Patriot Place press release has this to say: '"Howl at the Moon' will provide high-energy live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night as well as on game days and corporate events. Howl's signature show focuses on performing interactive music that encourages guests to sing and dance along. From 80's rock to today's hits, Howl's performers incorporate dueling pianos and various other instruments into their show that changes every night."
Luxury bowling and "Howl at the Moon" will now joint other tenants at Patriot Place, which include a 14-screen Showcase Cinema De Lux, the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, a Brigham & Women's/Mass General health care facility, and a Renaissance Hotel & Spa.
Chris Reidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.