Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.99 value).
A new computerized system automatically tallies every strike and spare at Western Bowl, where players vie on sleek lanes seven days a week. An in-alley store supplies new bowling balls, shoes, and bowling bags to players, who can roll recreationally or as part of one of Western Bowl's leagues. After final frames, players can debate which pin was cutest over house-made pizzas, calzones, and Mexican entrees at the alley's Big Apple Pizzeria, while refreshing brews and libations await in the Longhorn Lounge, alongside myriad TVs?including two big screens.
Lucky Strike Lanes Belmar's 16 synthetic lanes gleam under a healthy collection of neon lights and high-definition television screens as leather sofas at each lane cradle guests who patiently wait their turn. When not bowling, bowlers can play foosball or billiards at the onsite sports bar or order from a full menu of pizzas, sandwiches, and other grilled items. The sports bar?s wooden accents add to the alley?s decor, which harks back to midcentury lounge styling without vintage drawbacks such as faulty ball returns or the ghosts of failed mayoral candidates floating down the alleyways.
The clamor of crashing pins and celebratory cheers resounds throughout Elitch Lanes until at least midnight every day of the year. Inside this retro bowling alley, competition heats up as cocktails and snacks keep players loose, well fed, and, like a down-and-out poet, out of the gutters. Elitch Lanes hosts pizza and beer leagues and college nights, which offers $1 drafts, games, and corn dogs.
Pet owners know that the best thing a doggie daycare can provide is peace of mind. At U Lucky Dog, they do more than promise that dogs will get lots of exercise and human interaction; they allow owners to check on their four-legged friends with live streaming video on their website, with cameras situated on all play areas in the 18,000-square foot facility. Because of this, 5280 magazine named U Lucky Dog its Editor's Choice for Best Doggie Daycare 2012.
Before admitting a pup to dog daycare, knowledgeable staffers evaluate its temperament to determine its best playmates. During the day, dogs frolic in indoor play areas as well as outdoor ones with elevated turf, obstacles to climb, and toy cats to plot coups against. The UVAIRx system purifies the air, extracting germs and other contaminants for a more sanitary space. Overnight guests enjoy kennel-free dog boarding with elevated beds and a schedule that includes play and nap time. Cats can also bunk down in their own exclusive area to plot counter-coups.
At each of Fat Cats' five locations, strikes and spares light up the screens of automatic scoring systems. Bowling balls roll and skip down lanes in normal conditions, against retractable bumpers, or under the fluorescent glow of Thunder Alley, when the facility transforms into a music-filled fusion of a bowling alley and dance club. Each lane's crashing pins echo the softer clacking of putters at the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course and the ringing lightshow of the arcade. Elsewhere, the scents of pizza and deep-fried bowling balls waft through the fun haven. Each Fat Cats location partners with different restaurants, including The Pizza Factory at its Salt Lake facility and Champzz Bar at the Westminster location.