When Joseph Olear tore down the original Three Point Bowling Center, he preserved what mattered most. ”We recycled the 35-year-old maple lanes and made a bar out of it,” he happily explains. “And also this gorgeous desk in my office.” The former alley was bought out by Joe’s father in ’86—a spontaneous decision that still perplexes the son. He “just bought the place! If you’d have told me we’d have a bowling alley, I’d have thought you were crazy.” That said, it’s a decision that gave Joe the reins to a facility he would totally revamp.
The updated alley features 16 automatic lanes, one of the largest bars in Kansas City, and a large crop of vine-ripened bowling balls. Olear has also solicited the master food stylings of chef Dan Cermeno for juicy burgers, steak-filled sandwiches, and spicy seafood pastas. He explains that Cermeno’s dishes—available at the alley or in Three Pins Diner—are by no means typical alley fare. “He’s a shopping king,” says Olear. ”On his way in, he stops to shop. [Always] fresh fruit and veggies—wherever the freshest stuff is.”
Beyond the lanes, Three Point entertains patrons with six full-size pool tables, dartboards, indoor and outdoor TVs up to 64 inches wide, as well as nightly league events. The revelry also extends outdoors, where an expansive outdoor deck patio hosts a meat smoker capable of feeding parties of up to 500. “There’s a guy comes in at first light and smokes the meat, “says Olear. “Venison, ribs, whatever he has. It’s in there for about 10 hours. It’s unmatched, really.” Wonderful as that is, there’s one thing Joe enjoys more. “Having a drink at the bar,” he says, smiling. “People will say they met their wife here. It happens on a fairly regular basis—someone comes in and says how nice the place is. It really makes your day.”
Ornate chandeliers cast their brilliance across a sprawling hardwood dance floor, but the crowd's eyes aren't directed toward the shimmering lights. They're focused instead on the intricate steps performed by a professional dance instructor, just one member in The Sovereign Dance Academy's talented team. With experience that spans from international competitions to television work, these professionals help others discover a passion for dance that extends beyond gracefully popping bubble wrap. Their mission is reflected in their curriculum, which offers a step-by-step approach that allows students to focus on American Smooth ballroom styles, such as the waltz and tango; International Ballroom styles, such as the foxtrot; or Latin and Rhythm styles, such as the rumba and hustle. Instructors work one-on-one with students—who can be adults or children—and let them know when they are ready to grapevine on to the next level.
Aside from the standard curriculum, The Sovereign Dance Academy leads specialized workshops and private sessions in which engaged couples can hone the dance they'll perform atop their wedding cake. On select nights, the space transforms into an area for social events such as girls' night out.
At first glance, Battleground Orlando’s grassy Field F may look suspiciously unoccupied, dotted with only trees, a few wooden forts, and some stacks of tires. But the regulars know better. They sit still as statues, gripping their laser guns and surveying the landscape for peeking heads and dashing bodies. This mix of strategy and stealth resembles a video game, and that’s by design. The course, inspired by the video game Call of Duty, is one of six courses at Battleground Orlando Laser Tag, each with their own mental and physical challenges, ambiance, and 99-life-granting cheat codes.
Keeping with this realistic aesthetic, the laser-tag facility hands out advanced lasers designed for military use and outfitted with a red dot sights, sight rails, infrared beams, and RF signals with a 1,000-foot range. Players can partake in team battles as well as scenario games such as “capture the flag,” “last man standing,” and “whiten my teeth before my big job interview.” The facility, which also houses Orlando Paintball, is the largest indoor and outdoor laser tag facility in Florida, and it's open daily from noon to midnight and until 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
Lying face down, the students press into their hands into the floor, lifting their heads and shoulders toward the ceiling into cobra pose. As the studio's 100-degree heat pervades their muscles, students feel their spines lengthen, their shoulders broaden, and their chests open. The instructors of Bikram Yoga West Orlando lead participants through this and Bikram‘s 25 other postures every day, combining them with two breathing exercises in a specific sequence that strengthens and lengthens muscles and joints while pumping oxygen-rich blood into the organs, glands, and internal hard drives. Every 90-minute class follows the same routine and challenges participants of all ages and practice levels. Bikram also encourages dedication—the more students practice, the deeper they can go into each pose, reaping benefits including decreased blood pressure, relief from back pain, and lowered stress levels. In addition to their yogic discipline, Bikram Yoga West Orlando's team also arranges spa services, including massage and skincare.
Laughter fills the air as kids zip down slides and caper about a jungle of wall-to-wall inflatables and obstacle courses within Monkey Joe?s play center. Kids 12 and under romp throughout the air-conditioned playscape?s obstacles, and tykes 3 and under stretch their imaginations on the softer and smaller attractions in the toddler play area. An orchestra of electronic beeps fills the arcade, the scents of savory pizza waft from a concessions stand, and a redemption center filled with gadgets and plush toys awaits kids ready to redeem their tickets. Colorful balloons and cakes pack party rooms, where birthday boys and girls unwrap presents and brand-new imaginary friends.
Safety is paramount to Monkey Joe?s. The well-lit play areas are supervised by trained staff, and a child security system tracks visitors through identity bracelets and video monitoring. These safety measures?combined with thorough cleaning and sanitizing?put parents at ease.