Project expected to take months; fire not suspicious, sources say
The owners of Fracaro's Lanes bowling alley will rebuild the business over the next several months following a New Year's Day fire there that reportedly caused about $250,000 in damage to the business.
It had been unclear in the immediate aftermath of the blaze whether owners Mike and Jason Hansen would rebuild Fracaro's, 1430 White Rock Ave., which has been closed since the fire broke out around 9 p.m. Jan. 1.
But in a post on the bowling alley's Facebook page on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the Hansens said they had "come to the conclusion that rebuilding is our best option."
"It's going to be an enormous project but nothing we can't handle," they wrote. "We feel terrible that the last four months of everyone's leagues are halted. "
Earlier in the day, Dan Hansen, Mike and Jason's father, said his sons were "leaning towards" rebuilding, though wanted to wait until the "insurance ramifications" were clear before making a decision either way.
An insurance assessor was scheduled to stop by Fracaro's Tuesday.
According to the Waukesha Fire Department, the fire went to three alarms and required assistance from multiple agencies.
Investigators determined the fire started in the kitchen area behind the bar and was not suspicious. Specific information about what started the fire wasn't immediately available.
Preliminary estimates put the damage at $250,000, which accounts for nearly half the property's value. According to Waukesha County tax records, the property has an assessed value of $523,000.
No one was injured in the blaze.
The 16-lane bowling alley has been family owned and operated since 1933, according to the Fracaro's website.
According to previous media reports, Fracaro's first opened as a corner bar and by 1940 had transformed into a bowling ally with eight classic lanes. By 1957, the alley had become so busy and bowling had become such a popular sport that Fracaro brothers Al and Vic teamed up for another renovation and added the eight additional lanes.
As the news spread about the fire, people from all across the suburban Milwaukee area shared their support on social media for the business and the Hansens.
Several people shared well-wishes for the business on Facebook.
One such post came from Jimmy and Allison Dakolias, owners of the new Waukesha Sobelman's location on Williams Street.
"Our thoughts are with the owners of Fracaro's Lanes," they wrote in the post, which included a picture of the bowling alley before the fire. "We’re sorry for your loss and wish you the strength needed to rebuild your Waukesha landmark."