By Zachary Daum
MASCOUTAH – This year’s winner of the ILLINOISouth Tourism Bracket: Pizza Edition is none other than local bowling alley, Mascoutah Community Lanes. In a bracket consisting of 26 different businesses, Mascoutah Community Lanes came out on top, with 2948 votes against 2935 votes for Auten’s Pizza House in McLeansboro. A very close race.
“We cover 21 counties in the state,” said ILLINOISouth Tourism Communications Director Andy Waterman. “Geographically we are the biggest Illinois tourism region in the state. That was the closest championship we ever had.”
Mascoutah Community Lanes owner Dan Sindel was excited for the bowling alley to have won the bracket championship and is overjoyed by the local support. “The supporters are all the community of Mascoutah and surrounding area,” Sindel said. “We have people that come 30 plus miles away to get our pizza.”
In the beginning, Sindel didn’t even know that the bowling alley was in the competition. “We were surprised at first. Somebody came up to us and said, ‘you know, you guys are winning,’ and we didn’t know what they were talking about. We don’t even know who nominated us so that’s some support right there too.”
In a show of sportsmanship, Sindel also said that he believes the competition will lead people to try the other pizzas that they were up against in the bracket. “The competition was very good. We’re definitely going to get out there and try some of the other winners.”
When asked what the most popular pizza was, Sindel replied very quickly that everyone loves the “Kitchen Sink Pizza,” named so because it has everything on it but the kitchen sink. He isn’t the only one who believes that to be the best pizza.
“I’m a big fan of the kitchen sink,” said Mascoutah Community Lanes frequenter, Tom Buehrle. “It’s perfect.”
Sindel wanted to point out that a lot of his business comes from the bowlers. “We have leagues every night of the week and we’re always looking for more bowlers too if anyone is interested.”
Mascoutah Community Lanes, located at 106 E George St. in Mascoutah, is open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM 7 days a week. For more information, call (618) 566-8430 or follow them on Facebook.
ILLINOISouth Tourism encompasses 21 counties in the southern Illinois region, including St. Clair County.