April 15, 1958 was met with excitement and appreciation as Everett and Carmelina Smith opened the doors of Gladstone Bowl. A family-oriented recreational venue for the Northland was born. Gladstone Bowl became the place to go for great food and great times!
It was soon evident that sixteen lanes simple didn't take care of the demand for the very popular sport of bowling. Eight lanes were added that first year as well as a room for pool and a pro shop. Gladstone Bowl had become the place to bowl, eat and have fun!
The Brunswick Corporation leased the center during the '70s and '80s. In 1991, Everett turned over the business to his son, Les. The '90s brought change. The bowling center was remodeled. Gladstone Bowl introduced Galactic Bowling to the metro area and installed automatic scoring and synthetic lanes.
Smitty's Diner, named for Everett, came to be. Smitty's was known for its great tacos, good burgers and a place to have breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a cold beer! Good service and reasonable prices made Smitty's a favorite place to eat in the Northland.
The turn of the century brought more changes and a new business partner for Les. Vicki Bowman became Partner and General Manager in 2003. Media recognition and numerous awards including Best Bowling in the Northland for (9) consectutive years by the readers of Dispatch newspaper and Best Bowling in the Metro Area in 2008 by KBMC TV viewers brought this lively center to the forefront. Honors including Proprietor of the Year in 2007 presented by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, 2011 Proprietor of the Year by the Missouri USBC, and Greater KC USBC Industry Awards of Merit to three on staff were received in this decade - Gladstone Bowl sets the standard in Metro Kansas City.
Known for an outstanding youth program, Gladstone Bowl coaches have receieved Greater KC USBC recognition and honors. The Oak Park High School bowling team won the 2009 State High School Championship; 2010 the team ranked fourth at State.
Gladstone Bowl and Smitty's Diner have endeared themselves to Northlanders through the ages.