So a gator goes into a bar…
Located off of I-494 and Bass Lake Road, Alleygators Night Club/ Spectrum Lanes was one of the few nightclubs located in the Twin Cities suburbs. In fact, I can’t think of another night club located in the West Metro, but I could be wrong. Nightclubs aren’t really my cup of tea.
But this wasn’t *just* a nightclub. It was a bowling alley (that’s where the Spectrum Lanes part comes in), restaurant (Garden Cafe, with its font looking dangerously close to that of the Rainforest Cafe) and sand volleyball court all rolled into one. A suburban entertainment complex, if you will.
Alleygators served the West metro for 21 years, giving residents a place to bowl, eat bar food and dry hump all under one roof, before calling it quits in the summer of 2008. I can’t find an answer as to why — an old review I found said that management shut down out of the blue one day, placing a sign on the door saying it closed because of “changing economic conditions.”
Other Internet sources say it closed because of the smoking ban. Whenever I hear that, I call bullshit. Riiiiggght, because after the smoking ban went into effect, all the smokers stay at home on Saturday nights and do Soduko puzzles in the bathtub for entertainment. Sure, a lot of bars/nightclubs/restaurants closed but smokers still want to party, smoking ban or not. Otherwise we’d be here in 2012 with no bars, restaurants or night clubs. Man up, throw your jacket on, get your ass outside and puff away in the designated smoker’s sty.
If they legitimately did go out of business because of the smoking ban, then hey! Awesome! If a business is kept alive because they only provided a venue for folks to smoke cigarettes, I feel no sadness when they go out of business.
They spelled it “Nite” on their logo but their website says it’s “night .” Likewise, I’ve seen their business name written Alleygators, Alleygator’s and Alleygator all on ‘official’ advertising literature. Well, which is it? No wonder they went out of business — they can’t even spell their goddamn name right.
I don’t have any personal tales of woe about this place because I never went here. I had one “encounter” with this place, and calling it an encounter is a bit of a stretch. I remember a friend of mine mentioning that he bowled here a few times…
And I remember this place being advertised on KDWB nonstop. I believe they always referred to it as Gators Night Club.
*shrugs* That’s all I got. Sorry.
But I can speculate on the debauchery that happened here. I’m guessing they played lots of rap & hip hop music in the nightclub — maybe warming up the crowd with some Backstreet Boys club remix before getting into the DMX and Lil’ Kim tracks. Lots of guys with hoppy beer breathe wearing Izods with popped collars or sporting ugly button-downs like Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and a Half Men wears.
Ladies dressed in Express polyester flared black pants and chunky platform Steve Madden sandals. Ashtrays big enough for a whole night’s worth of smoking scattered around the joint; double the amount of ‘em in the bowling alley. Overpriced bar food only a drunk person could tolerate. Coworkers from the local businesses meeting up for an after-five bitchaboutyerboss cocktail and end up going on a major bender and throwing up in the volleyball court after last call.
Yeah, that sort of thing. Alleygators seems like that kind of place
Alleygators clearly couldn’t keep the party going since today the place is empty. There’s no one showing off their moves like Jagger on the dance floor, there’s no Cosmic Bowling, the sand volleyball leagues meet at a court in the parking lot of a different Twin Cities bar, and Creeping Charlie is overtaking the volleyball court and the parking lot.
What’s next for Alleygators? Well, at one point, a Kowalski’s was going to move in but that feel through. A medical center also wanted the property, but again, it didn’t go anywhere.
The Alleygators website is partially functioning (the home page works, but all links are broken). It still looks like it’s straight out of 1999!
So folks, anyone have any memories of Alleygators Night Club/Spectrum Lanes? You’ve GOT to have better stories than what I have!
Enjoy the rest of the photos: