A trio of retro bowling alleys lures visitors into their distinctive confines for old-fashioned entertainment. Southport Lanes & Billiards exposes groups to waves of nostalgia with four lanes of hand-set bowling, making it 1 of only 10 remaining of its kind in the country. Outside of the bowling area, sleek wooden floors lead visitors to a line of pool tables, and an outdoor patio gives glimpses of the blooming neighborhood in warmer months.
Seven Ten Lounge, home to a bowling alley, billiard parlor, bar, and restaurant, envelops guests in the trappings of a bygone era. Art-deco motifs, vintage posters, and mahogany furnishings surround revelers as they lob a ball, aim a cue, or pity the defenseless pins. Local microbrews pepper the draft list with homegrown variety, and house-made fare elevates the menu past a typical alley nosh.
Hyde Park's Seven Ten Lanes not only exudes a similarly stylish décor, but also features gutter guards to contain errant throws by children or carnival musclemen with inner-ear imbalance.
Each facility in the family of Rockford-Area Bowling Centers enlivens the classic game of bowling with its own signature amenities. On Friday evenings, the staff at Don Carter Lanes temporarily extinguishes its warm, vintagey glow and replaces it with a dimly lit club atmosphere as DJs from 97 ZOK descend upon the alley, pumping out beats that mingle in the air along with a light and fog show. For supplementary entertainment, the Don Carter location also offers a gaming center, and the Park Lanes alley recharges guests with beer and deep-fried fuel at its onsite pub. The Cherry Bowl location keeps serious bowlers properly outfitted with a pro shop, saving them the hassle of paper-mâchéing their own heads to form makeshift bowling balls.
If you've been bowling in Chicago, chances are pretty good you've been to a Chicagoland Bowling establishment. With member centers from 3700 N. Western to 12345 S. Halsted, the organization connects pin destroyers all over the city. The advantages of this network include tournaments that span the entire region, scholarship programs for talented youth bowlers, and a cornucopia of options for clowns who juggle bowling pins.
Fitz's Spare Keys combines a vintage bowling alley, pool hall, and live music venue inside a 24,000 square feet space, which also boasts a bar and restaurant. Thirty TVs scattered throughout the building broadcast games as bar hoppers imbibe and diners mull over the menu of burgers, steaks, and pizza. On Friday nights, musicians rule the stage and on Saturdays, dueling pianists make melodies their weapon of choice. While music lovers mingle to the soundtrack of live performers, bowlers socialize to the roar of crashing pins atop 14 old-timey lanes and pool players clack balls across seven tables. Two private party rooms can hold up to 150 guests or 150 cardboard cutouts; one is outfitted with a bar and four private bowling lanes, and the other houses four lanes and a pool table.
With colorful laser-light shows and music that permeates the space, Diversey River Bowl has the potential to transform into more of a concert venue than a bowling alley. And that?s entirely intentional. Groups of families and friends toss bowling balls down glowing blacklit lanes, erupting into rounds of high-fives after pins clatter to the floor. And to ensure kids' bowling balls connect with pins every time, the staff stuffs the gutters with bumpers and pillows and the balls with advanced GPS systems.
In the onsite DRB's Pizzeria?which encompasses a dedicated seating area with flat-screen televisions, plush leather booths, and eye-catching exposed brick?a crowd gathers around the karaoke machine as the chords to ?I Love Rock 'n' Roll? back up amateur vocals. Nearby, darts fly into an electronic dartboard, and a congratulatory ring sounds, as spectators indulge in pizza, pasta, and burgers.
E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy but she has strong ties to Chicago?namely, her husband Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic collection, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.
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As the icy grip of winter tightened its grip around Boston, a group of buddies mourned the impending cold that, history had shown, meant they wouldn't see each other as often until the warmer months. To get around the problem, they decided to find a way to stay warm without sacrificing the fun of social activities. The solution: the cozy indoor setting and endless high-fives of bowling. Thus, in the winter of 2006, Better Off Bowling was born.
Originally a way for friends to keep in touch, the idea caught on and became a league-sized endeavor, spreading to new cities and close-knit crews around the country. Each season consists of six weekly games, during which teams compete in 90-minute matches to combine the four highest scores in a single game. Many participating alleys offer drink specials during the sessions, and Better Off Bowling hosts post-match hangouts with board games for teams to interact with each other and giddily fly kites over the ball returns' air vents.