Franklin's Root River Center planning to close its doors

FRANKLIN (WITI) -- Franklin's Root River Center, a popular bowling alley, banquet hall, tavern and restaurant on W. Rawson Ave. is set to close its doors -- much to the disappointment of frequent visitors, and those who had future plans at the center.

Trygve Smalley first got word on Wednesday morning, July 10th.

"A lady who supposedly is having her wedding here, or wedding reception, in two weeks told me that she heard the place was closed, and that was news to me," Smalley said.

At the Root River Center on Wednesday -- the phone kept ringing and concerned clients took to the center's Facebook page.

"They said, well, their electricity's gonna be shut down because they need to pay the electrical bill. They have other vendors that they have to pay, and they just don't have the financial means," Ruth Todorovich with Saint Nikola Serbian Orthodox Church -- the group that has owned the building for 23 years said.

Todorovich says during the time her group has owned the building, a separate church entity called Saint Nikola Enterprises has owned the center's operations, which were managed by a church corporation, called the Saint Nikola Association.

"We are part of that group, but we all have our own separate boards and separate duties," Todorovich said.

Todorovich says the group has struggled to remain viable, particularly over the past five years.

"With the economy the way it is, the bowling has gone down," Todorovich said.

As for folks who have events booked at the center, Todorovich says she isn't sure yet what will happen.

"This only happened (Tuesday), and I think they just have to hold on for a bit for them to see what they're going to do. They can't jump into it either, you know? They have to see what an attorney would advise them to do," Todorovich said.

CLICK HERE to view the Root River Center's Facebook page.