Newburgh Bowling Alley Responds to Accusations of Antisemitism
A group of Orthodox Jews are claiming that they were unjustly turned away from a local bowling alley.
According to The Yeshiva World approximately 20 Hasidic families arrived at Tarsio Lanes on South Plank Road in Newburgh hoping to bowl on Thursday afternoon. That's when they claim they were discriminated against for their religion.
One of the family members says that he called ahead to the bowling alley to see if any lanes were available. After being told that there was plenty of room, he drove to the alley with his family. But when he arrived, the man said he was told that there suddenly wasn't enough room to accommodate his family.
The man claims that "every single person was wearing a mask, and we were socially distancing." He says that because they were following guidelines he believes that they should have been allowed to bowl just like everyone else.
Anthony Tarsio Sr, the owner of Tarsio Lanes, tells a different story.
Tarsio tells us that on Thursday he personally checked in a Hasidic woman and her small group early in the afternoon before leaving for an appointment. That's when he says a large group of approximately 20 people arrived hoping to all bowl together.
After being told by staff members that they would need to break up into smaller groups and social distance, Tarsio says the group refused. The bowling alley owner explained to us that they are under strict regulations and have had to institute new COVID-19 policies in order to remain open. The bowling alley allows small groups on their own lanes, but those groups are restricted from coming in contact with each other while bowling. Tarsio says the group would not agree to these conditions. There were also family members who did not want to bowl but instead wanted to enter the alley to spectate, something that is also forbidden under the new restrictions.
The Pat Tarsio Lanes owner says he feels terrible about the way things turned out and wishes he was there so he could have personally handled the situation. Tarsio says that the bowling alley has been in business for 60 years and has always been welcoming to the Hasidic community. The owner says that just last year the bowling alley hosted 150 children from a nearby camp twice a week for the whole summer.
Tarsio says he's very proud of the bowling alley's reputation and that this incident is nothing more than an unfortunate misunderstanding. The article, which blasts the bowling alley made several mentions of Governor Cuomo's recent crackdown on the Orthodox community. When asked if he thought the group had come to the bowling alley as a political statement, Tarsio quickly dismissed the idea, once again stressing his support for everyone who comes through his doors, regardless of their religion.