The closing of Sadie’s Café in St. Michael’s Colonial Mall created an opening for its neighboring business, Big Al’s Bowling, to expand its services to include the Alley Grill.
The bowling alley has been a St. Michael entertainment staple since 1983, and owner Greg Lutgen said they have been hard at work remodeling the bar area, upgrading the kitchen and adding a significant amount of seating to re-make the business into Big Al’s Bowling, Bar and Grill.
Big Al’s invested in numerous kitchen upgrades last year, adding a new hood system and fire suppression system, a large smoker and a walk-in freezer. This allowed them to begin offering a full menu to their patrons, but the new space gives Big Al’s the capacity to serve more people in a sit-down restaurant environment. Starting Thursday, Aug. 2, the Alley Grill seating area will be open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers can still order food from the full menu from 2-9 p.m., but it will be served in the bar or bowling areas.
Lutgen said updates to the business will continue, with a flat top grill being added to the kitchen and a new bar area going in horizontally across the space so that patrons can watch the bowling action while seated at the bar. They also completed a refinishing of the bowling lanes earlier this month, and additional exterior signage will be up soon.
“We still have more work to do,” said manager Chris Mcdaniel.
Lutgen said their kitchen staff makes many ingredients and sauces themselves, notably their own barbeque sauce, and they smoke their meat on-site for pulled pork and pulled chicken.
“Everything’s made in-house,” Lutgen said.
He said their meat is delivered fresh each morning from Dehmer’s Meats, located just a few doors down. And Midwest Rubs, whose owners also owned Sadie’s Café, provides all their seasonings. Midwest Rubs is also located in the Colonial Mall.
Mcdaniel said their customer favorites include the sirloin wrap, chicken bacon ranch wrap and burger options.