Flushing shoe store opens baseball batting cages on site as part of unique business venture

Via Google Maps

Combining the world of fashion and sports, a Flushing shoe store owner has innovatively introduced baseball batting cages within his premises. The unique addition comes after owner Peter Song, 46, observed a notable absence of batting cages in Flushing and the neighboring areas.

Shoe Village, located at 45-22 162nd St. in east Flushing, has been in business since 2006, but it wasn’t until Song’s son began using space inside the store to practice his baseball that he thought that this could be a profitable idea.

“When the store was closed for three months during the pandemic, my son became more interested in little league and he and his friends were using the back portion of the store as practice space, so that’s when I thought that this could be a business opportunity,” he said. 

As a baseball lover himself and as his son became more interested in the sport, Song realized that the nearest location to practice was not close by and that adding a batting cage to the Flushing area would be an important amenity.

“I could have easily kept this as a space for my son and I… But I see it as a way to give back to the community, so people have a local area to practice that is easily accessible,” he said.  However, Song noted, the venture does provide him with a business opportunity. 

Song believes that there is a lack of amenities for children to use in the borough of Queens, and he hopes that in the future the batting cage could lead to the establishment of a little league baseball team in Flushing.

He shared the inspiration behind the name for the batting cages – Game 162, saying that the store’s location on 162nd street and the 162 games played in the major baseball league made it an obvious choice.

Song added that although some customers were confused with the combination of a shoe store and a batting cage under one roof, once they got into the space and played, they loved it.

The Flushing native, who now resides in Whitestone with his family, said that he hopes the space can bring people together and that children can learn in a safe and fun environment. There is also the option to practice with softballs, so the space is suitable for children as young as 6-years old.

Baseball teams or any individuals wanting to use the batting cages can make a reservation online and prices start at $40 and go up to $120 depending on how long the space is used and whether the group is using pitching machines or not.

The batting cages are available during the same hours the shoe store is open—from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.