For more than three decades, bowlers have settled scores atop the 56 glossy lanes at Pro Bowl West. Recently, the alley has been revamped to add flat-screen scoring monitors and new furniture, house balls, and shoes. Customers enjoy the new accouterments during open-bowling hours or lessons given by the experts at Charlie's Pro Shop. Exhaustion and rumbling tummies naturally steers patrons toward the Alley Sports Café & Grill, an old-timey diner that slings a popular pork-tenderloin sandwich. Other entertainment includes an arcade, as well as 21 flat-screen TVs, a dance floor, and six dartboards inside the Alley Sports Bar, a 3,000-square-foot space filled with the tunes of live bands on Saturdays and karaoke crooners on Thursdays and Fridays.
In 1952, Earl Myers and his son, Ed, built The Kitchen Table to create an eatery that combined hometown cooking with a friendly atmosphere. Now run by Rod Myers—Earl's grandson—and his wife, Mimi, the restaurant transports visitors back to the '50s with its original stools and countertop, which serves as a canvas for plates of classic diner fare and self-portraits painted in ketchup. Inside the kitchen, chefs simmer homemade soups, flip custom omelets, and transform ingredients into southern favorites such as country fried steak. They also serve smaller portions from a kids’ menu that, unlike the ability to see clowns, has no age limit.
Bear's Place, a 30-year old institution with new ownership, is planted adjacent to the Indiana University campus and is known for its social atmosphere. This reputation is thanks, in part, to its plethora of events?from Tuesday-night live acoustic shows to late-evening karaoke and other live performances from jazz and blues outfits. The bar also stakes its name on its signature drinks and a range of domestic and local craft beers served alongside specialty burgers and other American comfort foods. Wood-paneled walls, paintings of dogs, and bartenders with beer recipes tattooed on their biceps contribute to the rustic pub atmosphere.
A fish arcs out of bright-blue water looking so realistic that one expects the fuzzy teddy bear standing nearby to be showered in a smattering of droplets. Courtney's Bakery’s staff sculpts cakes in three-dimensional renderings of dolls, sports arenas, and tropical waterfalls. In flavors such as carrot walnut, island coconut, and marble, these cakes also appear as cupcakes for a handheld dessert or tossing into your loved one’s mouths. Courtney claims inspiration from her mother, a self-taught baker who influenced the recipes for cookies and cinnamon rolls.
Ziano's dishes up a delectable spread of Italian fare with a robust selection of signature recipes. Commence lively lunch or dinner munches over a basket of 99-cent parmesan- and parsley-accented breadsticks, which can be shipped to your table in an optional dip boat of marinara, cheese sauce, garlic butter, or alfredo ($1.99). After parsing the secret ingredients of the house salad’s sweet-and-sour Italian dressing ($1.99 small, $5.99 large), inquisitive patrons can scribble coded love notes or create fine-food art on the paper-lined tables. A hearty helping of homestyle lasagna sates meat lovers ($9.49), and herbivores can feast on the pasta prime vera, which features a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and mushrooms ($8.99). A charming tilapia Florentine, safely ensconced in a white-wine sauce, rests upon a bed of angel-hair pasta made up of spinach and sun-dried tomatoes ($10.99).