Get your scorecards and ink daubers ready.
Rochester's Elks Club is bringing Bingo back to the Med City.
"We want to open an old-fashioned Bingo hall," said Sue Foster, the current president (Exalted Ruler) of the Elks Club.
Fans of the popular game haven't had a regular place to play since the Rochester Senior Center closed its Flamingo Bingo in December.
The plan is to open the club's doors at 1652 U.S. Highway 52 North in the Hillcrest Shopping Center on June 30 and start calling numbers. The Elks will host evening bingo games on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, plus on Sunday afternoons.
The club, which has 378 members, has worked its way through the state's complex charitable gambling process and is almost ready to go.
"We have a charitable gambling manager, an assistant gambling manager, callers and a concession stand," Foster said.
In the run up to the opening, the club will have trial runs for the staff with its members to work out the bugs before allowing the public in to play, he said.
Of course, the Elks already know the rules of the game. Flaming Bingo operated in the Elks Club for about eight months until it closed. It had been displaced from its former building at 2828 Highway 52 North, which was sold to a Twin Cities car dealership and eventually demolished.
With construction of the new Senior Center addition to the Rochester Recreation Center underway, Senior Center Executive Director Sally Gallagher said the center's board of directors decided to focus on that instead of the seven-year-old Flamingo Bingo. In addition, the center's charitable gambling manager resigned and the bingo venture saw declining revenue.
The Senior Center raised $100,000 in funds in 2013 with the Flamingo Bingo parlor, but the dollars started fading after moving in with the Elks.
"We did not have the visibility we'd hoped for. We had a significant attendance decline after the move. Though, it is a lovely space," Gallagher said last year.
After investing in creating that "lovely space," the Elks Club saw an opportunity to raise more funds for their organization and other local nonprofits.
"We did this years ago at our old location (at 917 15th Ave. SE). So we thought, why not try something like this and give more back to the community," Foster said.