by Lindsay Rothweiler, Event Coordinator, Strikers
Photos provided by Strikers
March 1, 2022 was a historic day for Jefferson City. Strikers, a family entertainment center, was the first of its kind to open in Jefferson City.
It was also a special day for Scot Drinkard, Mark Gerlach, Brian Bloomer and Brad Harrison, co-owners of Strikers. The co-owners envisioned a place where families could come together and have fun. They envisioned more than just that. They saw an opportunity to offer several jobs for our local community as well as bring in more revenue and business to the Capital City.
As many of you know, in May of 2019 a tornado tore through Jefferson City, devasting many businesses and homes in its path. Capital Bowl was unfortunately one of those businesses. Due to the devastating damage, they made the tough decision not to reopen the doors. That’s when Mark Gerlach stepped in and decided to purchase the property and the rest is history.
After more than a year of planning, development and delays, Strikers has officially opened its doors. “From when we started on this project, we’ve upped the cost by around $2 million,” said Drinkard, who owns several local businesses including The Pizza Company and The Office Bar. “We educated ourselves and expanded our video games and simulators. We wanted to make the facility absolutely as good as we could and therefore, we spent more than we anticipated, but we really didn’t go over budget; we just made the place nicer.”
The facility boasts 16 bowling lanes, including a VIP section, two sports simulators offering more than 30 different sports to play through and 42 arcade games that include virtual reality and classics like skee- ball. The facility also has a full kitchen and bar staffed by experienced staff members that have been staples at local restaurants, as well as seating for 200 people.
“Strikers is also the first location in Missouri to use the Spark system,” Drinkard said. The interactive program projects virtual games and graphics onto the lanes from the scoring table to the pins, letting bowlers of all ages and experience levels personalize their game with a unique flavor and social experience. The system offers everything from dancing projections to adaptations of popular video games and trails that follow the ball on its way down the lanes.
“I feel like there is like five different businesses in one here, so there are a lot of moving parts and opportunities,” he said. “We’re excited to bring this to the community. It’s a great fit, and we’re super excited to finally have the doors open for everybody to enjoy it.”
Left to Right: Brad Harrison, Scot Drinkard, Brian Bloomer and Mark Gerlach, Co-Owners of Strikers.