Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.99 value).
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Lucky Strike Lanes Belmar's 16 synthetic lanes gleam under a healthy collection of neon lights and high-definition television screens as leather sofas at each lane cradle guests who patiently wait their turn. When not bowling, bowlers can play foosball or billiards at the onsite sports bar or order from a full menu of pizzas, sandwiches, and other grilled items. The sports bar?s wooden accents add to the alley?s decor, which harks back to midcentury lounge styling without vintage drawbacks such as faulty ball returns or the ghosts of failed mayoral candidates floating down the alleyways.
The clamor of crashing pins and celebratory cheers resounds throughout Elitch Lanes until at least midnight every day of the year. Inside this retro bowling alley, competition heats up as cocktails and snacks keep players loose, well fed, and, like a down-and-out poet, out of the gutters. Elitch Lanes hosts pizza and beer leagues and college nights, which offers $1 drafts, games, and corn dogs.
Balls tumble down 24 synthetic lanes at Pinz Bowling Center, where automatic scoring tracks each strike, spare, and gutter ball on 32-inch flat-screen monitors. The monitors get a workout: The facility's open bowl accommodates rollers until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, adult and youth leagues face off every Saturday morning, and tournaments take place each Saturday night, beginning with strongmen poking holes into round rocks until everybody has a ball. Tournament play continues with biweekly horseshoe competitions at Rodz Lounge, where guests can watch the game on a big-screen TV, sink 8-balls at the billiards table, and test their aim at the dartboard. For music fans, Rodz hosts Friday-night rounds of karaoke and performances from live bands on Saturday night.
A new computerized system automatically tallies every strike and spare at Western Bowl, where players vie on sleek lanes seven days a week. An in-alley store supplies new bowling balls, shoes, and bowling bags to players, who can roll recreationally or as part of one of Western Bowl's leagues. After final frames, players can debate which pin was cutest over house-made pizzas, calzones, and Mexican entrees at the alley's Big Apple Pizzeria, while refreshing brews and libations await in the Longhorn Lounge, alongside myriad TVs?including two big screens.