A long-time Farmington Hills bowling alley got a big makeover this year – and a “perfect” new name.
The former Drakeshire Lanes, purchased four years ago by the Shearer family, is now Perfect Game. The $2.5 million renovation eliminated a section of lanes to accommodate an expanded arcade and state-of-the-art laser tag room inspired by the “Destiny” video game.
In addition, owners Deb and Simon Shearer and their son, Michael, freshened the overall look, improved accommodations for people with disabilities, and upped the quality of offerings at the snack bar.
The Shearers on December 1 marked their four-year anniversary with the business, which they acquired after a national search.
“We had a vision that was limited, at the time, by our ability to fund it,” Simon Shearer said. “We had to prove ourselves to everybody.”
The business remained open during renovations from May to September. The Shearers say that City of Farmington Hills staff helped them through the process.
“We were all on the same page,” Simon Shearer said. “Their ideas for what we needed to get approved were in line with what we wanted to do.”
Improvements are immediately visible in the new signage and automatic front doors, that make life easier for bowlers carrying a lot of equipment. The small game and billiard room in front has been expanded and filled with an array of colorful machines that spit out tickets players can redeem for prizes. In addition to party rooms off the arcade, seating is available at a few tall tables.
The laser tag rooms, located past the arcade, accommodate 24 players who suit up in the “mission room” before venturing into a maze of hand-painted walls and bridges. If you can wear the vest, you can play, but at least one parent figured out a creative way to get around that rule.
“We had a birthday party, and a toddler wanted to play,” Michael Shearer said. “Dad put on the vest, and the toddler walked in front of him with the gun.”
The Shearers used acoustic tiles in their design to ensure that noise from the arcade doesn’t disturb bowlers, many of whom are long-time customers. Those folks will probably always call the business Drakeshire Lanes, and that’s okay.
“The goal (of the name change) was that we wanted to communicate to people who maybe hadn’t been here in 20 years and others that a massive change had taken place,” Michael Shearer said.
Keeping the veterans happy, while adding features that will attract new visitors, was the overall goal of the renovation.
“It’s all interconnected, even the food,” Simon Shearer said. “It’s all designed to deliver an experience you won’t get anywhere else in metro Detroit.”
Perfect Game offers a number of specials during the holiday season. To learn more visit myperfectgame.com.