From neighborhood hotspot to grocery store storage space—to neighborhood hotspot. Now known as Avondale Bowl, this space has taken quite the journey from its time under the Northwest bowl banner. A story of rebirth, this retro modern space brought together some of the best in the business to transform it—and one of these players was Morgan Li.
About Avondale Bowl
It all began with a “For Rent” sign at an abandoned grocery store on Milwaukee Avenue. And when Chicago native Luke Blahnik of @properties saw it, he knew little about what the space was—aside from a shuttered grocery store named Wally’s.
But after digging into the history, Blahnik saw something special—and saw an opportunity.
When first touring the space, he was surprised climb the stairs, only to find a second-floor entrance to a bowling alley and bar area. This abandoned grocer and deli was in fact home to Northwest Bowl, a community staple from the 1950s to its closure in the mid-90s.
Upon his decision to preserve the space and return it to its former glory, Blahnik partnered with restaurant industry veteran and general manager of The Heritage Jeff Wilson. And the two got to work.
About the Project
Project Location: Avondale Bowl, 3118 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL
Aiming to retain much of the space’s original charm, Blahnik envisioned it as “[their] version of a Wes Anderson film [with] a lot of fabric, color and cozy furniture.” Additionally, much of the project was focused on bringing back the original glory of the space.
- Restoring and rebuilding the original pin setters.
- Using the original green color from Northwest Bowl.
- Incorporating a large hand painted Monarch Beer sign from the original space.
- Eschewing computerized scoring for manual to create a special connection between guests, the game, and their group.
- Retaining the exposed brick, bar rail, and more from Northwest Bowl.
Not all was simply old. The goal was to create a timeless space a that struck a balance between kitsch and nostalgia. So the project brought in a whole lot of new. And to do this, all fabrication materials used were made in/near Chicago.
Morgan Li Supplies Custom Booths for Avondale Bowl
From branding to furniture, the project involved some of the biggest players in the Chicago manufacturing & fabrication scene—including Morgan Li.
Part of the dream team tasked with transforming the space, the Avondale Bowl project shows off our custom furniture capabilities and expertise combining wood and metal to create custom booths. And thanks to the amazing use of lighting, our work here looks amazing.
More Than Made. That’s How We Do.
Work with a partner who knows what it takes to get the job done right; on time and on budget. We’re Morgan Li and we’ve spent nearly eight decades transforming spaces.
As a custom manufacturer, we understand the challenges you face and are here to help. Designers at know that if they can envision it, Morgan Li can build and deliver. Get to know more about who we are and when you’re ready to create an unforgettable experience, drop us a line.