BowlBowlBowl.com boasts three ideal environments in which ball-slingers of all abilities can practice their pin-leveling. Groups of six or 12 old friends or recently assembled humanoids can embark on a two-hour orb-slinging outing through 20 frames of healthy competition and rapidly escalating one-upmanship. Each roller receives his or her own pair of rental shoes replete with soft, smooth soles to facilitate sliding into each stroke and executing celebratory moonwalks. Groups of up to six play in each lane, toasting spares and strikes with swigs of soda or socially lubricating suds while automatic electronic scoring keeps pin wreckage reliably tallied. After two hours of pin-pounding, patrons can saunter to Hillside or Classic Bowl’s Club 300, or one of Stardust Bowl's four lounges, which offer up new frontiers for friendly competition such as pool, darts, and bowling ball-imitation breakdances. Each location unfurls its own unique accouterment, whether it’s Stardust’s whopping 84 lanes, Hillside’s DJ booth and dance floor, or Classic Bowl’s outdoor patio and light-and-sound saturated Rage Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights. At every location, bowlers can watch multiple high-definition TVs and a full-service bar is often patronized by tired pins on their shift break.
Elk Grove Bowl first cracked open its doors in August 1963, and since then, it has evolved in step with technology to become a modern 40-lane alley with automated scoring. Bright colors splash every corner of the space, flaring to life under the black lights of Cozmic bowling, when fog and pulsing music fill the air to make competition seem more urgent and friends' faces seem more attractive. Year-round leagues, including the peewee bumper league for kids, help athletes to hone hurls and spins.
Bowlers can also sharpen hand-eye coordination atop pool tables. Nearby, libations clutter a steel-topped bar and electric-blue booths in a restaurant ringed with vintage bowling photography. A private room is equipped with all of the trappings for birthday bashes, such as pizza, soda, and festive plates sliced from tree trunks that share the birthday girl's birthday.
A classic 80s aesthetic immediately envelops folks as they walk through the door of Elite Cafe & Billiards. Or rather, the 80's version of the 50s. A primary-colored art-deco bar, complete with rows of red bar-stools, chrome, and neon pink stands as the centerpiece of the cafe. The main attraction lies just past the bar: rows of pool tables lit by hanging red lamps. The 17 pool tables—all nine feet long—come surrounded by plenty of room to maneuver, giving players enough space to pull off trick shots and Charleston celebration dances. Back at the bar, pool players can sit and enjoy beer, soda, chips, and beer nuts.
Though you wouldn’t expect to find professional pool tables in a café nor freshly crafted deli sandwiches in a pool hall, Pressure Billiards and Cafe has managed to seamlessly combine these elements into a single all-encompassing amusement space. On the billiards side of the facility, 13 9-foot Brunswick Metro tables bask in the glow of contemporary wall sconces and ample overhead light as players aim for pocket dominance like a keys-versus-wallet grudge match. A slate of eight LCD televisions displaying seasonal sports games, meanwhile, ensures that adrenaline levels never wane between turns. After billiards bouts conclude, guests can saunter over to the café side of the establishment to dine on classic pub dishes flanked by a range of mixed drinks and a dozen bottled beers. Once fully refueled, clients can wind down in the lounge or partake in one of the bar’s nightly activities, such as an open mic, trivia night, or comedy showcase.
Clacking pool balls echo across 16 9-foot tables at the Chicago Billiard Café, where rising and renowned cue masters can snack on items from a menu of tasty pub grub while admiring a century-old authentic snooker table. Donated by an altruistic band of Muppets, vivid red and green felt carry an enchanting aura and stretch across tables from Brunswick Gold Crown and Soren Sogard, which host 8- and 9-ball tournaments on Mondays and Thursdays, respectively. Frappuccinos and fizzy sodas fuel accurate strokes and gallant cue duels, and winners can rejoice with deep-fried Twinkies preluded by all-beef hot dogs and gooey pizzas from the café’s menu. Dulcet tunes unite with the even more mellifluous sound of patrons’ corner-pocket prophecies to underscore bouts that take place on a glittering pinball machine, which glimmers amid the softly lit interior ensconced by exposed brick.