Backstage Billiards I-Drive's name certainly doesn?t bury the lede??beginners and pool sharks alike can rack up games on any of the bar's 24 Brunswick tables. At the same time, it doesn't encompass the myriad billiards alternative patrons can enjoy, from hitting bullseyes on seven electronic dartboards to sinking holes-in-one during rounds of Golden Tee or cornhole. For those who prefer spectating, 20 plasma-screen televisions stay tuned to the day's biggest games and most heartwarming huddles. Amid all this sports?centric revelry, bartenders serve beverages in ice-cold mugs as well as mixed drinks from behind a 55-foot, full-liquor bar every night until 2 a.m.
The WhirlyDome is a flurry of light and activity. Engines roar in a Formula 1 simulator, video games beep and hum in the arcade, and lasers ricochet in the laser-tag maze. The dome?s core attraction, however, is WhirlyBall, billed as the world's only mechanized team sport. Players try to shoot wiffle balls into elevated goals as they steer bumper cars across the dome's two 4,000-square-foot courts. Dubbed WhirlyBugs, the electrically powered vehicles can reach speeds of up to 5 miles per hour, like turtles who are running really, really late.
The Formula 1 racing simulator is another popular attraction. All-enveloping television screens surround riders with a realistic reproduction of the racing experience, from steering around sharp turns to suddenly braking as a promising young brain surgeon crosses the street. Competitors scamper through swirling haze in the laser frenzy, or they encounter simulated ocean creatures during rounds of undersea-themed laser tag. In between activities, players pop in and out of the onsite Bloodhound Brew Pub & Eatery, where bartenders pour drafts of local craft beer to pair with pub food, from rolls to burgers served with crispy waffle fries.
At World Bowling Center, slick spheres fly down 32 glistening wood lanes to obliterate perfectly placed pearly white pins. Use the touch-screen Brunswick Vector lower monitors to scrutinize scoring, or watch the upper monitors as they illustrate your fifth-straight gutter ball with high-tech graphics. The center's cosmic lighting system will bathe bowlers in a supernatural glow not unlike light dancing on thousands of sequins at a Liberace impersonator convention. Spend a good chunk of your day or night at World Bowling Center taunting friends and taking out frustrations on a group of hapless pinheads. Unlike other competitive sports, such as dogsled racing and rap battling, bowling has zero barriers to entry and a shallow learning curve.
Neon red overhead and floor lights, luxury booths and banquette seating, and two 40-person bars help differentiate Kings Bowl from the old-fashioned bowling alley you?re probably picturing. The 30,000-square-foot entertainment complex features 22 ten-pin bowling lanes (four of them in one private room and six in another), four full-size billiards tables, an outdoor bocce ball court, and a shuffleboard table. In between turns, you can let your eyes wander to more than 60 big-screen HDTVs and a projector screen.
In addition to games, Kings Bowl offers chef-driven, creative american cuisine made from scratch, such as buffalo wontons, bacon chicken ranch pizza, and their famed steak tips. A laundry list of martinis, cocktails, and craft beers take the sting out of losing a game of bowling to an opponent throwing granny-style.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates 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.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.