New Life into an Old Alley at Timber Wolfe Lanes10/06/2023 12:33PM ● By Haleigh Abbott
Since its construction in 1961, the bowling alley located at 1800 Baltimore Pike has seen Oxford area bowlers pop in for a quick game, league nights full of friends and family members, and even first dates. It was here in the mid 2000s that a collegiate bowler and Cecil County native, Catt Wolfe, met her now husband, Clifton Wolfe, a West Grove native. Flash forward to 2023, Catt is now the General Manager and the mind behind the complete renovation of the new Timber Wolfe Lanes Bowling Center & Pro Shop.
Previously known as Timber Lanes, the old building was desperately in need of an overhaul and rebrand to create a more family-friendly space where children and adults of all ages could feel comfortable and excited to bowl. “We wanted to bring it back to life for the community to know we’re here and it's a safe and warm environment for families to come,” explains Catt. “I’ve been a bowler for 25 years, I met my husband here and he is a bowler, so when it went up for sale it just made sense for us to take it over.”
Renovations began on May 11th 2023, and within 3 months, $300k was invested in upgrading electrical systems, a brand-new electronic scoring system, LED and disco lights, new flooring, new shoes, new balls, new menu items, and a new color scheme that divided the internet. “It went viral when we posted the color scheme, and I got a lot of backlash over it. I had to trust my gut though and I think it worked. To me it screams fun!” says Catt. The blue and green color scheme weaves throughout the building, tying together the walls and brand new furniture that looks great in full light or black light.
You would never know that this was Catt’s first jump into business management, but knowing her industry like the back of her bowling hand has led her to success. Catt began bowling at the age of 4, and by the time she was ready for college, the sport gained her access to scholarships to help complete her Bachelor's degree in Integrated Sciences from Kent State, Ohio. After graduation, she worked for an oil company in Lancaster. The decision to leave her job and her industry was easy once the opportunity to reinvigorate the alley came around. Clifton’s mother, Sandra DuVall of DuVall Bus Service, backed the venture and Catt ran full steam ahead with her plans. “Sandy is my superhero. The way she runs her business is amazing and if I can be a fraction of the business woman she is I’ll be successful.” gushes Catt.
Completing an entire building and branding overhaul is not without its challenges, and Catt navigated through them with her team to ensure success. “So much of the stuff that has been done here has been done by my team,” explains Catt. “They’ve painted, tiled, worked on scaffolding on the ceiling. The chef removed carpet and painted for days! Everybody is so invested in turning this place around.”
Speaking of the chef, the new menu at Timber Wolfe Lanes is not your typical bowling alley food. Catt is most excited for their flatbread options, including chicken bacon and ranch, barbecue chicken, buffalo chicken, and a veggie option. “I’m excited about the spicy cheese curds. Imagine a mozzarella stick, but tiny and cheddar cheese instead with some spice…amazing” says Catt.
The new Timber Wolfe Lanes offers event rentals for parties which include food and beverage, decorations and a birthday pin for guests to sign. Catt is also excited to give back to the community by working with the Special Olympics, the New London Counseling Center, and running a Saturday Morning Youth Program. The program runs 30 weeks, and kids that attend at least 15 weeks will be eligible for a scholarship. Catt hopes to give $500k worth of scholarships that she’ll raise through fundraising, donations, and the weekly youth program fee of $10.
League nights are back as well; Monday through Friday have dedicated times for leagues, but at 9:30pm on Friday nights, the party lights come on and it’s time to party with open-bowl. The alley also has 2 arcade rooms and a prize counter for tickets.
When asked about her future plans for Timber Wolfe Lanes, Catt answered “Expansion down the line is possible, but for now…happiness. I want this place to be self-sufficient. I want to see bowling take off. I want this to be a place where kids can come and not get in trouble. If I can see some kids come in and get some scholarships and take an interest in it.” As a living example of the success bowling can offer to a young woman, Catt Wolfe is the perfect person to breathe new life into Timber Wolfe Lanes and create the new era of bowling in Oxford.
To find out more, visit their website at www.timberwolfelanes.com, or stop in and experience the new alley at 1800 Baltimore Pike, Oxford.
Photos by Jim Coarse, Moonloop Photography