Less than a year after purchasing Village Lanes Bowling Center on Catoctin Circle in Leeburg, the owners of the newly renovated family entertainment center and restaurant — now called The Branch — have opened to the public.
Owned by Charlie Beach and Scott Carpenter, co-owners of the business Local Wood, along with their friend Paul Ferrari, the 17,000-square-foot building is home to a 16 lane bowling alley, a bar and restaurant, arcade and about 2,000 square feet reserved for Local Wood’s operations.
The restaurant serves upscale pub fare, with 36 seats at tables and seating for an additional 31 patrons around a four-sided bar. Chef Manuel Alvarez’s menu includes a variety of options, such as Jambalaya pasta, crab cakes, burgers, fresh salads, wraps, and a charcuterie plate with cheese, meats and a large pretzel in the middle.
Bowling — the venue’s signature offering — can be played on one of 16 lanes, which have each been named for towns around Loudoun County. There is also a VIP area which can be reserved for special events, meetings and parties.
Bowling balls, shoes, tables and all areas around The Branch are meticulously cleaned, Gatling said. Each lane is set up with a scoring and game system where patrons can select from a number of different games to play even between lanes, he said.
“This is very exciting,” Gatling said. “It’s a relief that everything is coming to fruition.”
“We are very happy with the team; it’s a good group and they have all caught on quickly,” he said.
Gatling said that customer service is key at the renovated venue, with staff on hand to demonstrate for patrons how to use the new scoring and game system.
The design of the space remains its old-school vibe, with tables made by Local Wood, including one long table made from the wood of an unused bowling lane.
Additional upgrades in the approximately $1 million renovation include a $200,000 scoring system, a new kitchen and enhanced HVAC system and duct work to heat and cool the building more efficiently.
Carpenter said it’s very rewarding to see the construction of the building come to an end and now open to the public.
“I’m super excited to create a family entertainment center that everyone can enjoy. I’m also thrilled to provide employment opportunities for so many young people and we are really happy with the management staff. We are very lucky,” Carpenter said.