Beloved bowling alley bows out

Pacifica’s Sea Bowl to close at end of May


Taylor Tran '25

Sea Bowl in Pacific is set to close on May 31 after decades in the coastal town on the SF Peninsula.

Griffin Doeff '25, Staff Reporter

Sea Bowl, one of the most cherished local attractions on the San Francisco Peninsula, is for reasons unclear, set to close on May 31, leaving many in the Pacifica and Bay Area communities sad and dismayed.

The bowling alley has been in operation for more than 60 years, providing patrons with an arcade, restaurant, and 32 bowling lanes in Pacifica on Highway 1.

Taylor Tran ’25

The closure was first announced in a letter by owner David Szeto – Sea Bowl’s owner – in March, where he cited the venue’s “difficult decision to close and retire the family business.” The letter went on to express gratitude to customers and staff, saying, “We thank you for your loyalty and support throughout the years.”

Some Pacifica residents believe that the property might be replaced with housing. For example, Pacifica resident Lucas Macaulay ’25 stated he had heard the establishment “is being taken down for housing.”

Management declined an interview, but Szeto’s letter stated “it is time to retire.”

However, Sea Bowl will remain in full operation until its closure, with Szeto’s letter further adding, “We hope you will continue to bowl with us until the very end.”

Sea Bowl’s closure will have a significant impact on the local community. Currently, Sea Bowl’s 32 lanes are the second-most of any bowling venue in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, only behind Daly City’s Classic Bowl, leaving bowlers – particularly league bowlers –  with limited choice in where they bowl. 

Nathan Loeffler Malatesta ’23

There are currently seven bowling alleys in San Francisco and Daly City, including Presidio Bowl and Lucky Strike in San Francisco and Classic Bowl in Daly City. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, there were many more, including Japantown Bowl, Broadway-Van Ness Bowl, L&L Castle Lanes, Downtown Bowl, Marina Bowl, Park Bowl, and Serra Bowl and Westlake Bowl in Daly City.

The death of Sea Bowl will particularly affect the city of Pacifica, as Sea Bowl is one of the most well-known and beloved locations in the area. 

Macaulay said, “It’s taking down one of the only things this small town has.”