Friday, August 17, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Fowling involves lunging a football at bowling pins. | Fowling Warehouse Grand Rapids/Facebook
A new activity that’s gaining traction across the country could be headed to Broadview. It’s called fowling (pronounced foe-ling) — a hybrid of bowling and football. The concept is simple enough.
“Two teams stand about 40 feet apart and take turns throwing [or rolling or tossing] a football at the rivals’ pins,” according to a description of the sport in a Wall Street Journal YouTube video. “The first to knock down all 10 wins.”
But the game is more than a concept for Fowling Warehouse, the Michigan-based company that has launched two warehouse locations, similar to bowling alleys, dedicated exclusively to fowling in Detroit and Grand Rapids.
During a recent regular meeting on Aug. 6, Kirby Clifton, a partner and owner of Fowling Warehouse, told members of the board that the company wants to build a third location — and its first outside of Michigan — in Broadview.
Clifton said that he wants to rent space inside of the Perlow Steel building, 2900 S. 25th Ave. in Broadview. He came before the board to learn more about the zoning and liquor license process. Clifton said his company is now moving to franchise their business, setting up fowling locations throughout the country.
“This is an ideal fit for us,” Clifton told board members. “It’s in accordance with the warehouse style we’ve had in the past.”
Clifton said that alcohol will be sold on the premises but there will be no food prepared on site. He said that at their two locations in Michigan, the company provides kiosks where patrons can walk up and order food from nearby restaurants in the community. In addition, food trucks are sometimes parked outside while the games are happening.
The Perlow Steel building in Broadview, which could become the third location of Fowling Warehouse. | Google Maps
“Sometimes, we get 500 people over the course of a weekend that come,” Clifton said. “It’s family friendly before 7 p.m., so the kids and family can play during that time. After 7 p.m., we switch to 21 and over.”
Clifton said that the locations also host many fundraisers and corporate team-building events.
“When I first saw a video [of the concept], it [reminded me] of Dave and Busters,” said Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson during the Aug. 6 meeting, referencing the popular chain of restaurant and entertainment complexes.
Mark Perlow, the CEO of Perlow Steel, said that the company would allow Fowling Warehouse to operate out of half of the building. The two entities would be separated by a permanent wall, Clifton said.
“We’re really excited,” Perlow said. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to the community. We’ll give the community a light to bring people here and we’re willing to make the investment in the property for them to come here.”
Mayor Thompson, along with members of the board who spoke about the proposed development, were all supportive of the prospect.
Trustee Judy Abraham said that the proposed location has “a lot of visibility” and that “it would be nice that you’d be working with our area restaurants.”
Fowling as an activity recently received a jolt of momentum after an episode of the Comedy Central show, “Detroiters,” featured University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh participating in a charity fowling event. VFP