If all goes as planned, Alameda youngsters will have one less excuse to say "I'm bored" during winter break after “Subpar Miniature Golf” opens on Park Street.
The 18-hole indoor mini-golf course is expected to operate year-round and also to feature family-friendly arcade games and a concession stand overseen by the operator of , just across the street from 1511 Park Street, the proposed location.
The mini-golf course is the brainchild of Michael Taft of Oakland who initially considered setting up a similar course at F3 at the Cotton Mill, a nonprofit arts center in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland. Taft is the president of that arts organization. He also considered locations on Alameda Point, but chose Park Street instead when he found a building downtown large enough to accommodate his plans.
Taft once owned his own industrial product design company in Washington D.C., so knows what it takes to run a business, he said.
He plans to completely renovate the interior of the double-wide Park Street storefront. When finished, the golf course will feature a Bay Area theme with mockups of local landmarks such as the Golden Gate span, Coit Tower and the Park Street Bridge decorating each hole.
“The interior will be completely repainted, the carpet will be removed and a raised floor covered in synthetic turf will be installed,” Taft said. “We will also be constructing accessible bathrooms and upgrading the electrical system.”
He said the building’s façade will receive a face-lift, as well, to erase signs of vandalism it suffered since it has been vacant.
The building sits adjacent to . In years past it has been occupied by a sporting goods retailer, a movie rental store, an art framing establishment and a Spirit Halloween costume shop.
Between now and when the mini-golf course is scheduled to open, a different costume shop, Halloween City, will temporarily occupy the space. (The Spirit Halloween Shop will soon open in the vacated location at the .)
Taft and his business partner, David Abernathy, also of Oakland, will initially employ one attendant but expect to hire two more employees during summer months.
Taft’s use permit application was approved by zoning officials earlier this week. Further permits for rennovations and occupancy will still need to be obtained along with a business license.
Taft said he expects part of the building rennovations to commence prior to Halloween City temporarily occupying the premises next month. The remainder of the work, he said, will be completed after the costume store departs some time after Oct. 31.
The golf attraction is slated to be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 midnight on Friday and 10 a.m. to 12 midnight on Saturday and Sunday.
“We think Alameda is the perfect spot for mini-golf,” said Taft. “This is a great town with so many families. The location is ideal for us, right in the middle of where everything is happening. There is no other mini-golf in the area, other than a course in Castro Valley. I also think being near the will offer the potential for collaboration and cross promotion of our businesses.”