Gable House Bowl is known to longtime customers as a place where families hold birthday parties, and church and school groups enjoy a fun day of bowling free from safety concerns, experiences that belie the horrific scene at the Torrance alley Friday night, Jan. 4, where three people were shot to death and four others were wounded.
Bowlers took to Twitter on Saturday to recall singing karaoke, playing laser tag and even throwing an occasional strike over a span of many years at Gable House, which is at 22501 Hawthorne Blvd., across Sepulveda Boulevard from Del Amo Fashion Center.
Ryan Pascal, a 16-year-old student at Palos Verdes High who described herself in a Twitter post as a frequent customer there, said in a phone interview Saturday that Gable House is attractive partly because it is one of the few bowling alleys in the South Bay in coastal Los Angeles County.
“Everybody goes there,” Pascal said. “I always see some sort of birthday party, some sort of event. I’ve seen a bridal shower.”
Which is why Pascal was shocked by the shooting.
“People go there to enjoy themselves and enjoy their company. I don’t think anyone has a malicious bone in their body walking into Gable House, but obviously, someone did (Friday), which is why this is so heartbreaking,” she said.
David Smock wrote on Twitter, “It’s a Torrance institution,” before adding, “This is a safe neighborhood, but feeling a little less safe.”
Marc Petrie said he bowled in a league there in the 1970s and described Gable House as “the quintessential blue-collar bowl in a quiet suburb.” He added: “Violence now hitting cities like Torrance & (Thousand Oaks). We must ask ourselves why.”
Wrote Adi Kamdar: “This one hurts. I had birthday parties there growing up, and my friends still hang out around there when we’re back home. It was such a big presence in my childhood, and the thought of gun violence there…”
Others described concerns about the alley.
“Even back in high school it was known for being dangerous and gangy — more like fights, occasional stabs and car break-ins,” wrote a person who goes by the first name of Ashley on Twitter.
Another Twitter user who uses the name Izzy wrote: “Sad to say but if you’ve been to Gable House in the past few years, you’re probably not shocked.”
A woman was shot to death in the parking lot in 2015.
Gable House was hosting Rock-N-Glow bowling Friday, which was due to start at midnight — just a few minutes after the shooting broke out — and last through 3 a.m. The event is repeated at the same hours Saturdays and then from 9:30 p.m to 1 a.m. on Sundays.
The alley offers laser tag, an arcade and a restaurant and bar named Jack’s Place, which offers hard liquor, beer, wine and food that includes tacos, flatbread pizza and a meatloaf sandwich.
Gable House has hosted at least two Professional Bowlers Association events. Ron Williams won the AC-Delco Classic there in 1990 and again in 1993, according to the PBA website.