It may not have been as well known as Vernon’s Action Park. Or West Milford’s Jungle Habitat. Or even Scotch Plains’ Bowcraft or Terry Lou Zoo. But you can add Piscataway’s Stelton Lanes to that long gray line of things that have come and gone in New Jersey.

The bowling alley was a fixture for decades in the Middlesex County town. It was a gathering place for families, for teens, for high school teams, etc. They had synthetic lanes and high tech Automatic Quibica scoring (apparently if I knew anything about bowling I’d know this is superior). Automated bumper systems to accommodate young kids’ skill levels. Oh speaking of which, as I write this my wife Aubree just told me of a time she was there as a little girl attending a kid’s birthday party when a boy “forgot to let go of the ball.” Broke his thumb.

Ah memories.

When the pandemic hit Stelton Lanes announced they were temporarily closing for only a short time to “reassess” according to That turned into a longer time than planned and now it’s been announced they are not reopening at all. In fact plans are underway for the place to become a grocery store.

Stelton Lanes has its share of trouble as the years past. One night in 2013 it was the scene of a major brawl involving hundreds of people well past midnight. Police showed up but not in time to prevent a 23-year-old Newark man, Jamount Atkins, from being killed.

The closing announcement on Stelton Lanes’ Facebook read, “It is with a heavy heart, that we write that Stelton Lanes will not be reopening. We would like to thank all of our bowlers for years of memories and laughs. The time we've shared with all of you has been something that we will never forget.”

Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler was one of many who reacted to the news, “Generations of Piscataway residents, young and old bowlers including myself, have spent time enjoying friends and family at Stelton Lanes. Its closure certainly marks an end to one of our township’s wonderful businesses but I am sure that may good memories of time spent there will continue to be fondly recalled.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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