By Annika Tomlin | January 5, 2021
Mike Siniscalchi founded 810 Billiards and Bowling in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2015. Soon, he’s bringing it to Chandler and Downtown Phoenix’s CityScape.
“The CityScape developers, Red Development, which owns the property for our Chandler location, told us they had the former Lucky Strike place that was vacant,” Siniscalchi says.
“They were internally discussing how to repurpose it or what to do with it. I spoke with them about taking that over as a corporate location, and we decided to move forward with that.”
The CityScape location will have 10 lanes, four of which will be sectioned off for private parties. Those lanes will feature their own bar and lounge area, an arcade, pool tables and a large dining and mixed-use area.
CityScape will feature something unique to the chain—a mechanical bull because, he says, “Why not?”
“Lucky Strike had annexed about 10,000 square feet behind it and created Gypsy Bar, which had a nightclub, late-night bottle service, DJ kind of vibe,” Siniscalchi says. “We are coming in and converting it over to our concept, which is more of a sports bar and family friendly.”
Core food menu items include made-from-scratch pizzas, burgers and wings along with specialty cocktails such as the Million Dollar Margarita; the 810 Octane made with Club Caribe pineapple rum, strawberry purée, orange juice and lemon lime soda; or the Trader Vic’s 151 float.
“Our core menu will definitely be the same across the brand at any store,” Siniscalchi says. “We’re very focused on prepping things in-house while trying to stay affordable. We also try to offer a restaurant-quality food and beverage experience, as opposed to what a lot of people might associate with a traditional bowling experience.”
Siniscalchi hopes to bring in different menus to the Arizona locations.
“After we get our legs under us this summer, we will start to incorporate seasonal menus that will be more specifically focused on the Phoenix area,” Siniscalchi says.
A new venture
After eight years in finance in Chicago and New York and recently engaged, Siniscalchi took his fiancée to Myrtle Beach to visit family. While there, they found a rundown bowling alley. They put in an offer and were quickly rejected.
Three months later, while moving to Rochester, New York, they received a call saying the owner would accept their offer if it was still on the table.
“My wife and I had one of those pivotal roadmap life decisions to make,” he says. “We looked at each other and decided that we wanted to go for it.”
They turned around and headed to Myrtle Beach.
“It was a traditional center,” he says. “It was 32 lanes. We immediately closed and gutted it. We did a wall-to-wall renovation, converting it to our vision of a mixed-use upscale entertainment.”
Their first location opened in 2015, with a second following in central Myrtle Beach in a converted supermarket space. The third, in Conway, South Carolina, was built from the ground up.
“When we originally opened our first store, we were called 710 as homage to the split,” Siniscalchi says.
“I’m kind of a math dork, but I just felt like most bowling alleys are like ‘North Myrtle Beach Bowl’ or ‘Brooklyn Bowl.’ I wanted something that could be scalable and could work in any market, not something that was going to be really Myrtle Beach- or South Carolina-specific or locale specific.”
After a trademark mishap with a similarly named company, Siniscalchi was forced to change the name of his business.
“We had been open a couple of years, so I wanted to kind of keep a lot of what we liked about our branding,” he says. “I was able to do that and just pivoted to 810, which amounts to 8-ball billiards and 10-pin bowling. It is kind of why that 810 Billiards and Bowling graphically tries to line up with the 8-ball in the eight and the bowling pin that’s the one in our logo.”
The first and third locations have 12 bowling lanes, pool tables, arcade games and an upscale food and beverage dining area.
“(Our second location) is over 40,000 square feet with 20 lanes, eight billiards tables, a 300-person dining room, two large arcade areas and an 18-hole indoor mini golf,” Siniscalchi says. “We also do have a stage and live music there a couple nights a week.”
The location in Chandler will be a franchise. Its construction has been derailed due to COVID-19 restrictions, scheduling and availability.
Siniscalchi hopes to have the Chandler and CityScape locations open in early April.
“We’re excited to be coming to the Phoenix market and, especially, to have our first franchise location open. We are really hoping for everything to be on the rebound by that point from the disaster of (2020). We’re excited to be a part of post-COVID as Phoenix returns to life.”
810 Billiards and Bowling, 810bowling.com.