The Oakfield Hotel and Bowling Lanes has new owners.
Batavians Tom Fluker, a Pepsi account executive, and Patrick Wester, owner of A to Z General Contracting, have teamed up
to purchase the bar/restaurant and 12-lane bowling center.
The facility had been owned since 2019 by Cory Paris, also a Batavia resident.
Prior to that, the Scopano family owned the business – known as the Oakfield Hotel and Scopano’s Paradise Lanes -- for more than 50 years.
Speaking by telephone to The Batavian this morning, Fluker indicated the duo has an ambitious plan to increase the entertainment options at the South Pearl Street location.
“We’ve got a lot of ideas. There’s really five aspects to the place,” Fluker said, rattling off the following areas that need to be addressed – rooms for rent, outdoor pavilion, bowling lanes, interior renovation and the bar/restaurant.
He said there are eight one-bedroom apartments, plus a loft and a two-bedroom unit upstairs.
“Over the course of time, we want to keep the loft and the two bedroom and then we want to take the eight apartments and make two or three one-bedroom apartments and have some for office space,” he said. “We’d like to rent out some office space for meetings, or maybe a lawyer or somebody wants to come in.”
Fluker said he and Wester eventually want to utilize the huge outdoor pavilion for summer activities such as horseshoes, volleyball and cornhole.
“The biggest issue is there is such a big walk from outside to go inside to get beer and food or whatever. So, we're going to put some coolers and some grills outside for the players to have quick access to their drinks and for something to eat,” he said.
Bowling has always been a large part of the operation, but there haven’t been any certified leagues there recently. Fluker said that he and Wester aim to rectify that situation.
“We’re going to go through the lanes – pinsetters, scoring and the oil machine – to make sure that things are running the way they need to be to have league bowling,” he noted. “We’re looking at this in three phases, over the next three to four years, with the goal of making it a high-end bowling center.”
He said they are looking at upgrading the scoring, adding flat screens, purchasing glow house balls and installing black lights and specialty lighting for cosmic bowling on the weekends or for birthday parties. Fluker, who served as president of the Genesee Region USBC for several years, said he also wants to restore the youth bowling program in Oakfield.
Once up and running, the lanes will be called Strike Force Lanes, he said.
As far as the bar and restaurant are concerned, Fluker said they are looking at a train theme, tipping their cap to the history of the railroad that ran near to the building.
“If I’m looking at the picture correctly, the railroad ran about 40 to 50 feet away from the building, and I think across the road, kind of diagonally, was the West Shore (Railroad) depot,” he offered. “I’ve been getting some West Shore memorabilia and will also incorporate some old pictures from the Oakfield Hotel from back in the day. And, for sure, we’ll be adding some lighting and getting rid of the taxidermy that has been there forever.:”
Fluker said the kitchen will be remodeled to increase efficiency and TVs will be added in the restaurant area, which eventually will take on a sports theme. The partners also are looking to add about 20 arcade games, separate from the bar area, and will keep the big room off of the bar for extra seating and for larger gatherings.
“We’re going to get in there in July and take a look at the situation,” he said. “Get into the walls and ceiling to see what’s going on. Obviously, we’re going to take a look at the roof over the bowling lanes. If you don’t have a (solid) roof, you don’t have bowling. Plus, we're going to make it handicapped accessible."
The business is currently closed.
A May 19 entry on the Paris Oakfield Hotel Facebook page read as follows:
As many of you have heard we have sold the hotel. We as a family have decided this was in our best interest. We would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts who have supported us these last five years. We will miss all of our regulars and all the relationships that were built. We appreciated the opportunity of being a part of this community. We wish the new owners nothing but the best!
Our last day open will be tomorrow 5/20, come on down for one last drink at the Paris Oakfield Hotel!