A silence settles over the typically boisterous bar as eyes fixate on the TV set, where the ball hangs in midair before carrying over the fence, falling through the hoop, or landing in the arms of a receiver. Before long, the silence explodes into cheers, and glasses clink together as more rounds of beer make their way to the tables.
This is a common scene at Happy’s Grille, where sports fans of all stripes and allegiances assemble to watch games while savoring 50-cent appetizers, hearty pub sandwiches, and domestic and premium beers. The nightly crowd lingers long after the final buzzer Thursday–Sunday, when DJs spin danceable hits and live bands rile up the crowd with guitar solos, thumping bass lines, and melodic recitations of the game’s play-by-play broadcast. Open seven days a week, Happy’s Grille keeps midweek crowds entertained with live karaoke and, of course, numerous televised sporting events.
With 36 lanes—all with bumper capabilities—Oak Tree Lanes can accommodate kid and adult parties, groups of friends, and professional bowlers at once. Just steps away from the lanes, the younger crowd finds an arcade flashing with electronic distractions, and for adults a two-story sports bar plays up to five different games at once. Men and women of a certain—that is, 21 and older—can pop the caps off of more than two dozen kinds beer and sample nachos, pizzas, and burgers. During breaks from tossing or petting bowling balls, guests can exercise their hand-eye coordination with rounds of pool and darts, or retreat to the private party area on the second floor.
In 2010, brothers Mike and Tommy Ponce were disappointed with the lack of resources for anglers in their area. They wanted to make fishing more accessible to people of all ages. So, they founded Fish Village. The company connects people with fishing adventures, which range from ocean day trips to long excursions across Alaska. The brothers not only connect people with other fishing-trip companies, they also lead outings themselves. For example, their kayak fishing outings search out halibut, bass, and even sharks in the waters off Dana Point. These trips come with all necessary equipment, including rod holders, gaffs, and incredibly realistic fish stories.
All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.