Willow Bowling Center closes its doors for good - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Willow Bowling Center closes its doors for good

CJ's Willow Bowling Center CJ's Willow Bowling Center

After being open for nearly 60 years, a well-known Evansville business closed its doors for good on Sunday.

Charlie and Jean Rayburn opened CJ's Willow Bowling Center in 1955.

"My father was in the banking business and he wanted to be an entrepreneur and his next door neighbor happened to own a bowling center at that time and it intrigued him so that's how they got started," said Pat Rayburn.

Pat and his brother Mike kept the business going through a partnership for the past 35 years, "I think what I am most proud of is my brother and I with the second generation took a family business and took an opportunity and greatly appreciated it but made it better."

Pat says he and his brother didn't get along all the time but, "We grew together and learned to respect and understand each other."

Pat and Mike have already sold the business to a local church and on Monday that church will take over.

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