Photo by Joe Chitwood
Working on the bowling area, July 8.
Photo by Joe Chitwood
New home of Bridge the Gap
Photo by George Lauby
Candy's Cupcakery and Sandhills State Bank
Photo by Martin Owen
A to Z Books, moving two blocks
The extensive remodeling and construction of the former Cedar Bowl is on schedule. Bill Fuller, who will manage the bowling operation, said that the plan is to open Aug. 2 as “Wild Bill's Wings and Bowling." The bowling center will open first, General Manager Bill Fuller said. The restaurant is expected to open Aug. 15 if all goes as planned.
Work is underway on 22 new bowling lanes. As of July 9, the crew was waiting on one last semi-truck load of material to complete the job.
The old lanes 1-10 are removed. That area will become a 5,000 square foot arcade. Suhr said the arcade would offer about 40 games, eventually including a laser maze.
“It is going to take a little longer than we planned to assemble the maze, so it will be added after we open,” Suhr said.
A wall will be built in front of the pinsetting area of lanes 1-10, leaving the mechanical equipment intact for future considerations, Fuller said.
On the other side of the building, the kitchen area and night club have been gutted and are being rebuilt into a new restaurant and lounge.
Suhr said the project involves a lot of work but is going smoothly.
"I think it’s turned into a little more work than we originally thought, but it’s coming along okay," Suhr said. "We are excited and want to get opened up.”
Plans are underway for fall bowling leagues. Meetings will be held the week of Aug. 11 and league play will begin the week of Aug. 18.
"People interested in bowling in a league can call the old Cedar Bowl number for more information," Suhr said.
Murray International, a California company that specializes in bowling alley construction, is handling the updates of the alleys. Pagel Electric of North Platte is the electrical contractor.
Fuller said local crews are handling construction of the restaurant and arcade.
Touchdown collection: Distributed far and wide
Butch Rasmussen, who assembled the collection of outstanding North Platte and Nebraska athletes over many years in the old Touchdown Club., sold the collection during a 10-day period to accommodate the new owners.
A vast majority of the collection was purchased by a collector in Lincoln, who buys and sells Husker memorabilia, and there is no guarantee it will be kept together, he said.
A Husker website in California picked up the news and helped advertise the sale, and Rasmussen received calls from all over the country.
"It was a great display that honored many local athletes,” he said. “It started out just as football display, but we had so many good players in other sports we had to expand."
Rasmussen is still working on what is perhaps the most valuable item in the collection – a jersey once worn by Husker quarterback Brook Berringer.
Berringer is best known for replacing injured quarterback Tommy Frazier during the 1994 season and leading the Huskers to seven straight wins and to the Orange Bowl national championship game against the Miami Hurricanes.
Berringer was killed in a tragic plane crash just two days before the NFL draft.
"Brook's mom Jan is a close friend,” Rasmussen told the Bulletin. “I called her and asked her if there was anything she wanted, and she said she wanted the jersey and several pictures of Brook that she had donated to me."
Rasmussen said a collector in Lincoln also wanted the jersey, but Jan said she didn't want to part with a jersey that was only going to be sold.
"I told the collector, and he told me he wants to create a Brook Berringer memorial and promised he would not sell the jersey if I sold it to him," Rasmussen said. "I cleared it with Jan, and she said she would let him buy it with that promise."
Rasmussen still has the jersey, pending a firm commitment from the Lincoln collector that he will not sell it.
Bridge the Gap offers hope
The building at 1007 N. Jeffers has been rented by 'Bridge the Gap', a company that offers hope and counseling for high risk kids.
Elisabeth George is the owner. She said there will be two parts of the business.
George said one part of the business works with the probation office to help teenage juveniles that have run afoul of the law.
The other part works with at-risk children who have not committed illegal activity.
The center offers education in life skills, designed to help them pursue things that will lead to a career.
Bridge the Gap officially opened this week. The other part of the business – called Bridges to Change – is expected to be in operation before the school year begins in mid-August.
At the busy intersection of B and Dewey, Candy’s Cupcakery opened the first of the month, offering fresh baked cakes, rolls and breads as well as gourmet cupcakes.
Candy’s is open Monday-Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Candy’s products are baked in small batches from scratch using the finest ingredients to insure quality and great taste, the company says.
Next door, Sandhills State Bank will reportedly be moving into the remodeled building.
A to Z Books to move
A to Z Books, a long-time downtown North Platte business, will move to a new location in August.
The bookstore will move just a couple blocks to 115 West Fourth, just across the street from the North Platte Public Library and across the alley from the Prairie Arts Center.
The building is owned by Robert Lowe.
Bookstore owner Sharon Owen said the move will be good for business.
“We’ll have parking at the front door as well as nearby, and we’ll be just a half-block off Jeffers,” Owen said. “This building is in better condition.”
Owen has been in the book business for more than 30 years. She said the trade is more demanding these days but business is steady, despite the oncoming digital age.
“A lot of pre-teens and teens are still buying books,” she said.
She specializes in collectible books, offers friendly terms and recently expanded the retail offerings to include “collectique” home furnishings -- antique and restored items.
Whitetail Screen Printing
The owners of Whitetail Screen Printing, Jeff and Shae Caldwell, have signed a purchase agreement for the building where A to Z Books is now.
Jeff Caldwell said they hope to complete the deal any day with Renaissance Enterprises, a group of owners headed by Alan Hirschfeld of Hirshfeld’s clothing.
The Caldwells got into the screen printing business two and half years ago when they bought Midwest Screen Printing from Ken and Connie Bible. They are now located at Eighth and Jeffers.
Jeff Caldwell said they are looking forward to the move of about three blocks.
“We like older buildings,” Jeff said. “We plan to make improvements, but we want to make sure we do it right.”
This report was first published in the Bulletin's July 9 print edition. The open dates were updated for the web publication on July 22.