Open since the 1950s, B & B Park Bowl?the oldest bowling center in Loves Park?proves that some things stand the test of time. Owner-operator Butch Olson, a veteran bowler, has also played here for years, and he strives to make the alley a family-friendly destination. To that end, the eight Brunswick Anvil lanes boast 12-strike auto scoring systems, bumpers for the little ones, and rental shoes that start at toddler size 9. On the weekends, the lights dip low for glow-in-the-dark bowling. The onsite bar serves drinks as well as hot sandwiches and, on Friday nights, hearty dinner entrees.
Though deft at trick shots, Tyler Voorhees doesn't expect beginning pool players to immediately master the game's intricate physics and geometry. So he focuses on fundamentals during his private and small group lessons at Rockford Billiard Cafe, even filming his students so they can review their techniques with video feedback. From there, pupils can join one of the café's leagues, vie for the top spot in a tournament, or just play a pickup round on 1 of 17 tables. An in-house pro shop even stocks more than 150 pool cues for purchase, as well as onsite cue repair services.
Not everything at Rockford Billiard Cafe revolves around its namesake sport. Darts hit bullseyes, royal flushes trump other hands on video poker units, and catchy tunes resound from an online jukebox. To reenergize patrons after long stretches of playing or dancing, cooks serve up classic bar snacks such as buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, and pizza.