Perham man reopening bowling alley in Detroit Lakes
Papacito's Burritos owner Lucas Johnson plans to reopen Voyageur Lanes at the end of the August.
DETROIT LAKES -- When it was announced that Voyageur Lanes was closing this past April, Lucas Johnson couldn't get it out of his head.
The Perham man got a group of friends together with plans to go in and reopen it.
After some hurdles, Johnson now is working as fast as he can to get the bowling lanes open around the end of August.
"I kind of talked to my wife ... and I just thought if I had the opportunity to open it and I didn't and it just sat empty all winter, it would really bug me," Johnson said.
So, they took the chance and reconnected with the previous owners. Johnson is now the leaser, but the previous owners are continuing to help work to keep it running. Voyageur Lanes is at 1377 W. Lake Drive.
"Which is super cool because I don't know if I could run it without them," Johnson said. "I'm good at the kitchen stuff and hospitality things so that's what I want to bring to the table."
Johnson owns Papacito's Burritos in Perham and Detroit Lakes. Before starting that up, he owned Lakes Extermination out of Ottertail. Johnson also used to be the manager of the Perham Bowling Alley and coach the bowling team in Perham.
Along with having bowling in his business history, the sport runs in his family.
"(My) daughters both bowl and its kind of been a big part of our lives for a while," Johnson said.
His oldest daughter is helping to get the place ready to reopen. Johnson has been kept very busy this summer with Papacito's catering and attending different events; in just one upcoming week he has two different events and a shoulder surgery.
But Johnson, his family, and the two previous owners are working hard and fast in hopes to have the new Voyageur Lanes open to the public soon. For the most part, it should look about the same. They will likely start out without a liquor license, as Johnson believed he wasn't able to get a new one until the beginning of September.
"For the beginning I think it will just be business as usual," he said.
Leagues will still be happening and they will continue to cook their well-loved pizza and regular bar food (no Papacito's), but it will now have Johnson's "spin on it." Johnson is more focused on making sure the community is involved with it and they keep it going.
"The biggest stance I think we want to take is the whole community service part of it more than the business aspect," Johnson said.
He is already talking with the Special Olympics about the reopening, has had different people reach out about high school bowling, and has hosted a Bowling Association meeting.
Once Voyageur Lanes reopens, it will stay open until May. After that, Johnson has the possibility of renewing the lease to stay open another year.