East Syracuse Fremont Lanes: a family tradition

Bowling is in Jay Piraino's blood. He grew up in a family whose love for bowling extends generations. And it's not just a hobby -- he makes it his business.

Fremont Lanes, located on Manlius Centre Road in East Syracuse, has been Piraino's game since 1980 when he became manager under the owners at the time, Judy Dorsey and John Duffy. In 1987, he made a purchase offer and the lanes became his own.

His first taste of the sport began as a child when his father owned South Side Recreation in Syracuse, a business that had a successful run from 1941 to 1976. Family-owned and operated, Jay would sometimes help his father at work.

"Bowling has been in his blood since he was a little boy, said Marty Piraino, Jay's father. "I told him to get out if he didn't enjoy the business, but he stayed on."

Now, Marty helps Jay. "I'm a gopher," said Marty, smiling.

Jay's son, Michael, 17, seems to be following in his father's footsteps. Michael is an avid bowler and member of the ES-M high school team. So far, his accomplishments include four impressive 300-score games.

Fremont Lanes hosts 10 leagues and also offers open bowling to the public -- make sure to call ahead for times. An average of four to five children's parties is booked each week as well.

David Hibbard, an employee and lifetime area resident, is the alley's mechanic. He also maintains the lanes. [Hibbard] is very knowledgeable, said Marty.

Glass windows divide the 12 lanes from the rest of the building, reducing the noise of balls-to-pins for patrons enjoying the other amenities: a counter for food and a family bar that serves a teem of regulars and mostly draft beers.

Lunches are served daily with homemade soups and fresh haddock on Fridays. "It's the best haddock you can get," Marty said.

Banquet facilities are available for up to 100 people.

Hours of operation:

Seven days a week from Sept. 1 to May 1. Summer hours vary. Call 656-7041 for more details.

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