Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
True to its name, Crossroads marks the intersection of two seemingly dissimilar hangouts: it houses an elegant dining room clad in black linens and yellow wall sconces where pastas, steaks, and seafood are served, as well as a sports bar stocked with pub grub. As Crossroads' famous marinated skirt steak and seafood fra diavolo top plates in the dining room, the bar's 15 TVs—each one baked fresh that day in time for the game—join a jukebox in wooing eyes and ears. Special events include visits from a local medium who tries to connect clients with the afterlife, get-togethers to cheer on the Rangers and Jets, and holiday meals.
Adorned in their signature denim shorts, black tank tops, and Timberland boots, the Canz-a-Citi Girlz greet each Canz-a-citi Roadhouse guest. In between handfuls from endless bowls of complementary popcorn, diners can munch on wings slathered in scorching “Dirty Canz” hot sauce, burgers with one, two, or three 5.2-ounce bacon-topped patties, and fried Twinkies or Oreos. More than 200 kinds of canned beer, 20 drafts, and colossal cocktails such as sangria or jungle-juice fishbowls wash down each bite until 4 a.m., seven days a week.
Wood hues, brick walls, and a metal roof create the roadhouse atmosphere, as does decor such as license plates covering the ceiling, a beer-can-lined bar, and old hubcaps patrons can use to reflect light while tanning in the parking lot. Up to 60 TVs also broadcast UFC bouts and accompany visitors during weekly karaoke in each restaurant.
Senses come alive when sitting on the plush red couches at Kasbah Hookah Lounge. The sounds of DJs spinning tracks sync with the rhythmic movements of exotically clad belly dancers roaming from table to table, weaving through clouds of aromatic hookah smoke. Customers can puff on more than 85 flavor combinations of the house’s 24 Starbuzz shishas, including classic options such as mango, or pairings such as honey, vanilla, and mint. The house also crafts their own signature blends for the five VIP flavors, including cinnamon toast crunch, which pairs apple, cinnamon, and banana. Bottles of wine and pints of beer accompany hookahs on the table, providing all of the fillers for a comfortable night out without having to lug around childhood teddy bears.
High on the wall at Your Mothers House Kitchen & Bar, large white lettering proclaims "Eat At Mothers"—a sign that welcomes visitors to sidle up to the bar or slip into one of the wide hardwood booths. Servers fill these tables with plates of steaming Southern creations, such as housemade chili-mac 'n' cheese, creole snow-crab legs, barbecue ribs, and Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches. As a whole, the menu relies on pure ingredients such as coarse sea salt, sushi-grade tuna, and raw milk cheddar harvested from only the surliest cows. Above the tables and booths, heavy wood columns stretch up to a cavernous ceiling, against which shines light from dozens of HDTVs—including some more than 20 feet wide. The restaurant's ample space frequently hosts events ranging from live music every Friday to screenings of special sporting events from the NFL, NBA, and UFC.
Rookies Sports Club performs a full-court press on the senses, sporting a menu with a mouthwatering array of grilled and fried snacks and displaying 10 television screens that allow fans to survey the scores around the league. The whole baseball squad or the Russian Olympic go-kart shot-putters can share an order of 50 Rookies signature wings ($38), swaddled in a choice of eight sauces. The Bronx Bomber steak burger creates a favorable matchup against offensive hunger pains, boasting a lineup of chopped sirloin, caramelized onions, applewood bacon bits, and blue cheese ($15.99). Rookies Sports Club also stocks a frosty collection of craft beers for a postgame celebration/commiseration, from the Belgian Gulden Draak Triple Ale to the coppery Keegan Ales Hurricane Kitty IPA. While nursing a glass of Black Dog Ale, guests can listen to sports commentators pontificating over their choice of game from a set of cordless speakers.
Mill Creek Tavern’s nautically themed dining room excites the eyes with model ships, wood crackling in a stone fireplace, and the restaurant’s logo of crossed canoe paddles. Meanwhile, the aroma of freshly caught seafood and juicy steaks on the grill signals the feast to come, much like the smell of cigar smoke signals a spritz of Winston Churchill cologne. A part of the Mim’s family of restaurants, Mill Creek Tavern has been a Bayville staple for more than a quarter century. One of the tavern’s owners is always onsite holding the entrees to a consistently lofty standard, inspiring a rave review from Joanne Starkey of The New York Times, who recommended “the fall-from-the-bones-tender baby-back ribs, a perfectly grilled fillet of lemon sole, and a rousing rendition of chicken scarpariello with meat on the bone and lots of garlic, sausage, and potatoes.”