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Recckio's Bowling Center to remain open despite sale ; Family first opened beloved hangout in 1946

A family-owned South Buffalo bowling center, beloved by generations, has been sold.

Recckio's Bowling Center, which will remain in operation, has been open since 1946 under the ownership of the Recckio family.

The establishment became a favorite hangout of soldiers returning from World War II who were looking for employment and educational opportunities.

Attorney Edward Cosgrove, who was involved in the $1 million sale, recalls the era and the enthusiasm.

"Oh yes, I do. I was in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade. I remember that was the thing to do, to go bowl at Recckio's. It was quite a time in the mid-40s."

As a child, Cosgrove was a pinspotter at the facility.

Former owner Rick Recckio, who ran the business with wife Tamara, said that when the business first opened, his father, original owner Gerald Recckio, used to pick up homeless people, pay them $1 a day to stack the pins and let them sleep above the bowling center.

New owner David Sears, who has more than 30 years experience running bowling alleys, calls Recckio's an institution. "I know (the community) loves it."

Sears had been a longtime friend of Tamara Recckio before deciding to buy the business. "She asked me to come in and help her out a few nights a week last season. That's when we started talking about a possible sale," he said. "I knew I could make it work."

Sears has promised improvements for consumers. "The machines will run better. The lanes will run better. Customer service in general will be much improved."

The former owners opted to sell the business to focus more on their real estate and development business, Recckio's Real Estate. The couple, who just sold a hair salon, also wish to scale down and go in a different direction as business people.

"I've had [the bowling alley] for 13 years," Tamara said. "And I live in Williamsville. South Buffalo is a long way to go. It's a bowling center and a bar. It just got to be too much. I'm opening a group fitness center closer to home."

e-mail: vsherry@buffnews.com

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