A CHANGE IN PLANS FOR FRANKLIN ALLEY SOCIAL CLUB
Changes to original plans for bowling alley; open for early memberships Aug 7th
After a lengthy review of the adjustments and demands on a historic building that a bowling alley would require, the team behind Franklin Alley Social Club, located underneath the much-lauded Takk House at 55 3rd Street, Troy, have decided to forgo restoration of the building’s original bowling alley.
Previous plans included restoration of two of the building’s original four bowling lanes, but multiple meetings with bowling professionals and equipment vendors proved the need for extensive materials and equipment that would deter from the charm of the building.
“It just seemed like we would be covering up history instead of showcasing it,” said Heidi Sicari, who owns the building and Takk House location with her husband, Frank Sicari. “We decided to go in another direction after truly educating ourselves on what it would take and how much damage would be done to the wood especially.”
Instead of bowling, Franklin Alley Social Club will feature two shuffleboard courts and one bocce court. Wood from the original bowling lanes has been repurposed into the courts, main bar top, and tables in the dining area. The Sicari’s dreamed up the shuffleboard concept after playing on the beach during their honeymoon.
“We had so much fun playing and realized that we had just enough space to support the nostalgic game,” said Sicari.
Shuffleboard originated on cruise ships and was first played on land in 1913 in Daytona Beach. The setup is pretty simple. Shuffleboard can be played in singles or doubles, and the objective is to use your cue to shoot a disc into a painted triangle at the end of the court.
Accompanying the playing courts the food menu focuses on playful, nostalgic treats with vegan options available. Classic arcade games and board games complete the Club’s recreational offering, and league enrollment for shuffleboard will start in late Winter 2017. Each team will be comprised of up to 10 players for weekly competition.
Membership to Franklin Alley Social Club -- which never expires -- is not required but offers generous perks, including access to special promotions on food, drink, games and a discount on Franklin Alley Social Club’s bocce and shuffleboard league membership. The first 100 members will have a chance to explore the Club before the general public grand opening and will receive and early adopters “members only” lapel pin. General memberships are $150.00 per person. Early adopters membership opens on August 7th at NOON Eastern Time.
“Our main goal was always to bring life back into this great space. The concept is fun. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously. Franklin Alley Social Club is not just a place to get a drink. It is an experience our guests will remember and share with others. We wanted the aesthetic to be perfect, which took some time. It’s retro and bright,” says Sicari.
Sicari encourages those interested in bowling to patronize Uncle Sam Lanes, a few blocks east of Takk House, which has been a longtime Troy staple.
The 17,000 square foot building currently utilizes the first and second floors for private events, known as Takk House. It continues to book private events while Franklin Alley Social Club renovations are underway. This project will not interfere with already scheduled events. Franklin Alley Social Club will also offer a private VIP space for celebrations that groups can rent.
The Sicaris bought the building in March 2014 and have continued to renovate it and revive a piece of Troy history. The building was erected in 1865 as a private residence, then purchased by the Frear brothers in 1889 and converted into a commercial business space. The Knights of Columbus bought the property in 1918. Takk House and Franklin Alley Social Club building on the renaissance of Troy development and has become a popular venue for weddings, celebrations, and entertainment. More details can be found at www.takkhouse.com.
About Takk House: Opened in 2015, Takk House is a leading venue for weddings and events in the Capital Region. Its name is derived from the Icelandic word for “thanks,” and is pronounced like “tock.” 2,800 of the building’s 17,000 square feet are utilized for private events and include a bar, ballroom, and balcony with historic adornment that date back to 1865. A renovation of the basement recreation area, including shuffleboard courts, will be complete by Fall 2017 and known as Franklin Alley Social Club, open to the public with its own entrance. The operation is run by Heidi and Frank Sicari, two veterans of the events and beverage industry, and has become an integral part of downtown Troy’s revival. More information and historic photos can be found at www.takkhouse.com.