Spokane Journal of Business

Hugo's on the Hill shuttered

Business listed for sale; future is up in the air

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As of early this month, longtime South Hill bowling alley Hugo’s on the Hill has closed, and the business is for sale.

Chris Schwartz, who has co-owned the business with his brother, Adam Schwartz, for the last four years, says he decided to close for the summer season. He says he isn’t sure when or if the business, located at 3023 E. 28th, in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, will reopen.

“The summer is the slowest time of the year for us, so it made sense to close,” he says. 

Schwartz says Hugo’s operations had occupied about 60% of the 30,800-square-foot building’s total space and paying rent on the larger-than-needed space has made it difficult for him to manage overhead costs.

“The other half of the building was formerly a casino but could easily be made into a restaurant or game room space,” he says. “However, as a first-time business owner, those are things I just don’t have the capital for.”

The building is owned by Vandervert Developments LLC, of Spokane, which also owns the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center.

Debbie Cozzetto, a marketing representative with Vandervert says, “We’re just in the beginning stages of this closure and are working with the (Hugo’s) business owner before moving forward with any plans for the building.”

Schwartz says Hugo’s currently has a long-term lease on its space in the building and had employed between 15 and 20 people, depending on the season. He says he’d like to see someone open a business on the unused side.

However, he says, “For now, we have the business listed for sale, and we’re hoping someone will purchase it and take over the lease.”

Hugo’s is listed for sale online for $125,000, through Spokane-based commercial real estate brokerage NAI Black. Assets listed include a full bar, dining room with seating for 50, three private banquet areas, and sixteen vintage bowling lanes. The sale would also involve buyers assuming the remainder of Hugo’s long-term lease. 

Schwartz says he’s uncertain whether he’ll resume operations in the space if the business doesn’t sell.

“I’m not sure how we’ll proceed, but we’re not currently considering any other spaces due to our lease agreement,” he says.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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