A beloved bowling alley in Fremont that’s been in the community since the 1960s could soon be closed.
Patrons of Cloverleaf Family Bowl are calling on city leaders to save the family-owned business after the landlord said he was selling the building to make way for new housing.
"Oh it’s just a crying shame if they go ahead and do this project," said Hayward resident Tony Rozewski. "I’ve been coming here for 33 years."
The Hillman family has owned the business for over 55 years and customers say the building alone is historic and the family is known for giving back to the community.
"Soon as you walk in the door, they’re like 'Hey Tony! How you doing?'" said Rozewski.
"It’s like having a good friend and now you’re parting ways," Fremont resident Bob Torres said.
The Hillman family bought the business in 1963 and ever since then, the family has given back from hosting scholarship tournaments for teens to having the largest senior program in the Bay Area.
"The community needs us and this is where we want to stay, this is home," said owner Mike Hillman.
He said the landlord is selling the shopping center to developers who want to tear it all down and build housing. Something Hillman and 10,000 other people, say is not needed in the area.
Bowling fans signed a petition on change.org urging Fremont’s city planner to save the building.
"It’s a family thing," said Rozewski.
The lease is up in five years and in that time, the Hillman family hopes to convince the city of Fremont to save the building by giving it a historic landmark status.
An associate planner with the city said they would need to evaluate the bowling alley to make that determination.
"We’re not giving up. We’re here as long as we can be. I hope we don’t have to chain ourselves to the building," said Hillman.