Jesse James Lanes

Terry and Julie Heilman, who’ve owned Jesse James Lanes for more than 45 years, are selling their business to another longtime bowling alley owner. (Chad Hjellming/

Terry and Julie Heilman are hanging up their bowling shoes.

The couple, who have owned and operated Jesse James Lanes since 1976, are selling their business to Dan Flaherty, owner of Flaherty’s Arden Bowl in Arden Hills.

Flaherty, who runs the Ramsey County lanes with his son, Adam Flaherty, has been in the business since 1963. His family has been in the bowling business since 1938.

Dan Flaherty told the Northfield City Council during a Tuesday liquor license public hearing that he expects the sale to close by the end of the month.

When businesses that sell alcoholic beverages change hands, a new liquor license is required. City ordinances require a background check, a review of the premises by police and a public hearing before the council.

Police Chief Mark Elliott reported no items of concern in his memo to the council, which unanimously approved the license for Flaherty. Councilor Suzie Nakasian was absent.

Like many businesses, Jesse James Lanes has been hit hard by the pandemic. The 16-lane center closed for about six weeks beginning June 1 to help stave off some of the impact, which included difficulty finding staff and area residents’ concerns about gathering in groups.

“We lost a lot of teams last fall and several weeks of our league season,” the Heilmans wrote in May on the business’ Facebook page.

“(Our business) is different than most because in that human contact is encouraged,” they wrote. “The whole idea is to get people together to socialize, have fun, meet people, make friends and network.”

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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