Balls hurtle down slick lanes toward clusters of pins at the family-owned Spencerport Bowl. Leagues duke it out at least once daily, and Friday and Saturday nights host the Famous Rockin' Bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight, when disco lights illumine an alley awash in fog. Revelry spills over to CJ's Pub & Grill, where frequent karaoke sessions supply a festive backbeat for burger-and-pizza feasts. Those who still have an appetite for entertainment after bowling can refuel at the on-site arcade.
Bowl-a-Roll Lanes has purveyed the sporting side of pin punishment for more than half a century, hosting bowlers of all ages and skill levels on 32 automated lanes. Upon arrival, customers will lace up their dual-tone shoes and slide over to the ball rack to pick out their globular weapon of choice. Two hours will spin away across lacquered wood slats as teams of up to six bowlers channel their focus and energy into subsequent frames of pin scattering, breaking concentration only to restock caffeine levels from the soft-drink pitcher. Children may boldly bowl with the bumpers up to prevent gutter anxiety. Though not valid with your Groupon, groups may also stop by Bowl-a-Roll on Friday and Saturday nights for cosmic bowling, a black-lit laser light show that allows players to experience the game the way its creator, George Lucas, originally envisioned it.
A vintage photo of Mallwitz’s Island Lanes, presumably from the 1980s, shows a much different alley than the one that stands today. Its patrons are dressed and coiffed for the times, bright yellows and reds flash across the walls, and strikes and spares are scrawled by hand. A modern-day snapshot illustrates the transformation that has occurred since the center's 1980 opening: 24 lanes feature computerized scoring systems and freshly oiled surfaces that glisten in the muted glow of black lights like a newborn’s head after his first waxing. Other contemporary touches include a full bar, complete with a food menu headlined by popular wings.
Tonawanda Bowling Center's 42 lanes reverberate with the thunderous roar of clattering bowling pins. Over the course of two hours, bowlers hurl multicolored bowling balls down polished wooden lanes as they challenge pins' right to assemble. Automated scoreboards announce budding rivalries between competing rock-slingers, and optional bumpers facilitate gutter-free voyages for on-duty bowling balls. Bowlers waiting their turns can slip into lane-side tables and chairs, where a pitcher of soda washes over parched lips and tongues tired from directional commands issued to defiant balls. For further sustenance, lanesmen can retreat to the full-service lounge and restaurant and partake of its full menu or sing along to Saturday night karaoke.
At Manor Lanes, it doesn't matter if you're a casual bowler or a pro-level athlete in a league?you'll get the same shiny lanes no matter what. And, you'll get the same sand volleyball courts, two of which were installed at Manor in spring 2014. But bowling remains the house specialty, and every day, the sound of toppling pins echoes through the room, rippling across myriad lanes during open play, parties, and sanctioned tournaments. To keep social calendars full and frosty brews flowing, the alley hosts special events, such as thrice-weekly Dollar Nights and twice-weekly nocturnal Moonlight Madness sessions.