Spanish Trails was to be Dr. Kenneth Hall’s pièce de résistance, the first in a nationwide chain of massive bowling alleys featuring a French restaurant and multiple nightclubs. Set in a Moorish/Disney-esque fortress built from recycled materials without any bank financing, the project fell shy of its lofty goal. “It was our family’s Vietnam,” his son Walter Hall says. “Its craziness only seemed to alchemize more craziness. He took umbrage when my brother told him, ‘Dad, bowlers aren’t really into French food.’”
Located in Sunnyslope, Spanish Trails broke ground in 1963 but floundered as Hall’s hospital and medical licenses were revoked.
The cavernous, 65,000-square-foot bowling alley finally opened in 1980, after Dr. Hall received a $300,000 loan to settle a bank fraud charge involving convicted land swindler Howard Woodall. Dr. Hall and his wife, Nancy, ran the 32-lane alley for a year before the property was foreclosed. There were no disco balls or escargot, only shoe rentals and hamburgers. Spanish Trails later became Pruitt’s Furniture, Apollo College, and a church until its current tenant, Castle Sports Club, moved in. “It’s a very oppressive, dark building,” Walter Hall says. “The place reminds me of a torture chamber.”
The Lincoln Legacy
North Phoenix owes two of its hospitals, a street name, a resort, and much of its community spirit to one visionary man. ...
‘Cue the Right Thing
Bill Johnson’s Big Apple might have looked redneck, but the western restaurant was a welcoming haven for all colors in Phoenix’s segregated ‘60s. ...
Dr. Kenneth Hall operated a Sunnyslope hospital with a primate zoo until unauthorized medical surgeries used to illegally finance a nearby bowling alley led to his downfall ...
Five years after folding, Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters lives on in the memories of Phoenicians. But how long will the barren building survive? The Beef Eaters restaurant sits frozen in time along the information superhighway. Closed for years, the CenPho...
As Tempe celebrates its musical legacy, friends remember the troubled life of late Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins. ...