SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The stay-at-home order issued at the local and state levels has forced may businesses to close or severely limit how they operate.  

Country Club Lanes on Watt Avenue is an entertainment complex with a bowling alley, café, bar, billiards tables, an arcade and laser tag. The entire complex has closed its doors to customers for the first time in decades.

“It’s something new that we haven’t looked at before,” said CCB President and General Manager, Dave Haness.

The business had stayed open every day since 1977, Haness said. He moved the business to operate 365 days a year when he took over 42 years ago. 

Country Club Lanes bowling alley was always open until the coronavirus crisis, 90+ employees laid off

Haness said he made the changes after realizing customers wanted to be able to have fun at the entertainment center all year round. He had hoped he could keep up the track record until he retired next spring, but fell shy after last week's closures.

Although, Haness says the hardest part of the closing was the impact on the employees. The company was forced to lay off 90 of its nearly 100 employees.

“It was horrible for just an emotional standpoint of closing the doors,” Haness said. “And even more terrible feeling when we had to look at our staff and say that you know, we’re closed for business and a whole lot of you aren’t going to be able to join us as you have, day after day, until we’re able to re-open.”

Still, the business will keep its café open and adapt for the first time for curbside pickup and delivery only. The café is providing free meals to its employees for as long as it can.

For its customers, they’re hoping to keep smiles on their faces by including a roll of toilet paper with their food orders. They have also created a birthday special meal for six, which includes balloons and take home bowling pins.

“Every day I wake up, that’s one of the first things I think about is what a tremendous feeling… it chokes me up,” Haness said. “What a tremendous feeling it’s gonna be that first day that we’re open.”

While the business says it can withstand a short time longer, Haness says if the current policies stay in place for months longer, many businesses could be at risk of closing for good.

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