Built as a combination ice cream parlor, pool hall, and bowling alley, it was the six bowling lanes that ended up as the most popular and lasting part of life in Hamburg, serving generations worth of leagues and late night open lanes to accommodate the demand for the sport.
The Hamburg Recreation Parlor was built by Leo Schumer, who owned much of the property in the vicinity of Buffalo and Pine Streets in the 1920s.
In 1938, he sold the business to Gilbert Emerling—who also owed the Texaco station two doors down.
Emerling the place to Chuck Saunders in 1948. He eventually renamed the place Saunders’ Bowling Alley, which it remained until it was destroyed in a fire in 1964.
The spot is now mostly in the parking lot between Sans Furniture and YoTality.
Emerling’s gas station was bought by the Village of Hamburg in 1966, and the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department garage number 3 was built on the site. That spot is on the other side of Sans Furniture.