Glassboro Bowling Alley Demolition Starts; Matt Blatt Auto Dealership Expanding Into Property

It’s had many names over the decades such as Glass Bowl, Playdrome Glassboro, Brunswick Zone, University Lanes… but regardless of the name, the long standing building on Delsea Drive across from the Monarch Diner started coming down this week.  Equipment is on site, and as of Sunday they have removed the back wall exposing the back of the bowling pin machines.  The purchaser is Matt Blatt dealerships, who currently have a dealership directly next to the bowling alley.

The May 2019 Glassboro Zoning Board minutes state that they will use the property for car inventory and employee parking, so it seems that we shouldn’t expect any new large buildings beyond property cleanup, paving, lighting and landscaping.   We also located a page regarding the project, available only to subscribers.  This potentially could equate to a reduction of the $60,000+ a year in taxes that are currently paid on the property.

Previously we had reported that the Royal Farms Convenience Store chain had interest in the property and got as far as to ask for approval from the town.  Those plans obviously are not happening.

1961 Opening and the Liquor License Controversy

The bowling alley opened as Glass Bowl in 1961 (or close to it) and was developed by Food Fair Supermarkets, who also developed one in Cherry Hill!   While it’s very common today for a bowling alley to server beer and alcohol, back in 1960 it was a different time (closer to the 50s style of life than the free-wheeling, hippy style at the end of the decade, ha!)… anyway, in the early 60s residents found out that the town was approving a liquor license transfer from Two G’s to Glass Bowl and they fought back in a BIG Way!

Articles from 1961 chronicle the efforts which was lead by 6 Churches and the President of Glassboro State College (now Rowan)!

The big concern was people would be drinking in an area where children also visited!

In September 1961 the license transfer was approved, with some minor stipulations.

We aren’t clear on the current status of the liquor license

Liquor License Today?

The State’s “Retail” list still shows “Glassboro Recreation” as an unused pocket license. The State can be slow to update but that being said.. I don’t see any mention in Glassboro Council minutes about any approvals to change to a new owner (which they would have to do) so I wonder if it still is sitting with the prior bowling alley owners?


Matt Blatt Mitsubishi Glassboro
501 Delsea Dr N
Glassboro, NJ 08028


5 thoughts on “Glassboro Bowling Alley Demolition Starts; Matt Blatt Auto Dealership Expanding Into Property”

  1. I am upset that yet another one of Glassboro’s recreational icons,the Glass Bowl will soon be history. Our town is slowly disappearing…..I am sure that many of my fellow lifetime residents of Glassboro, NJ feel the same way. All of our historic and meaningful places are disappearing at an alarming rate. It’s just not right.

  2. I was born in Camden NJ. Moved to Glassboro, NJ at adoption. And lived there till 2017. It was a good place to hangout back in the late 1970s. I was born in 1961. The bowling alley was a place you could go and have fun. It will be missed by all who used to hangout and have fun there. I no longer live in NJ as it got to exspencive to live there. I had to move out of Glassboro. I always remember it as a great place to be in the 1970s.

  3. I agree with Terri on this. Some places value certain icon spots…not here.
    A handful, never liked “small town Glassboro”, it was too boring to them.
    So instead of them moving, they set out to destroy our small town lifestyle, in the name of progress, of course.
    Now we are getting all the other negative stuff that comes with overcrowded “city life”.
    It’s too late now to reverse.
    They’ll destroy the center of town soon.
    Then it will no longer be our town.
    No movie theater…no bowling alley…no place to hang out and dance without drunks…no place to buy a decent pair of shoes…no place to buy a dress up outfit…no children clothing store.
    Just a lot of eating, drinking, spots…and high rise living spots, too expensive for most from here to live here in those places.
    Oh… “and now, like in a city, pay for parking!”
    All my children have moved, (to places with bowling alleys in their town).
    It would be nice to have a Hotel, “away from the college campus”…”one that has breakfast included with their expensive cost, which would be unlike the present one.
    Another decent food store would be nice, like a Wegmans, “away from the college campus”.
    Rowan Blvd. is not, of the college/University, and yet… (the name even says, hummmmm?
    A Corner Store Bakery would be nice to have in G-boro.
    Oh well…

  4. Had been bowling there since 96. It was one of the best bowling allies around in the 90s, and there were many more around back then. Shot my highest game ever there several years ago , a 263. I think it’s quite asinine for the pin setter machines to be left behind; what a waste! At least I know where NOT to buy a car from!!!

  5. Horrible!! It was one of the best bowling allies around in all south Jersey back 20 or so years ago. Well, I know one place I WON’T be buying a car!!!

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