Yorktown Lanes boasts 40 lanes, each of which is equipped with automatic scoring systems. Just beyond the lanes' edge, a lineup of colorful vinyl chairs adds a touch of vintage class. And inside the newly renovated bar onsite, bartenders liberally pour spirits, draft brews, and other fine beverages. The alley also hosts birthday bowling parties in one of two private rooms, including a banquet hall that can host wedding receptions or graduate seminars on the difference between duckpins and regular bowling pins.
An opening in the rock face slides open, and the warriors pour into the bizarre archaeological site. Rough-hewn blocks, cool to the touch, form close tunnels that let fast breaths echo. Light trickles in through a hole in the ceiling, as though something else had gotten here first. Suddenly, the warriors scatter, and adrenaline-tinged shouts drift up through the constant fire of up to 60 laser guns as the explorers tear through the 20,000-square-foot, newly expanded space. As they sprint past shrouded aliens and desiccated palm trees, their suits transmit stats to the outside world, where real-time scoreboards track their prowess and battle-cry harmonies, and plasma monitors display shootouts taking place in the fog-filled arena.
At each of its Cleveland-area locations, Freeway Lanes allows bowlers to hone gutter-hugging curves. In addition to traditional, tenpin lanes, the alleys host indoor bocce ball courts and pool tables for players tired of breaking cues on 16-pound balls. Their expansive facilities also feature modern bowling amenities along with HD television screens and full-service restaurants. League opportunities are available for children, adults, and seniors and live bands frequent the alleys, filling the air with original melodies and providing just enough bass to knock down wobbling pins.
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, 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. The largest owner 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.
CoolCleveland.com credits new owners Joe Pavlick and his sister-in-law, Kelly Flamos, with restoring Mahall's 20 Lanes to its former glory. Kelly, Joe, and Joe's wife, all Ohio natives, swooped in and resurrected the once flourishing alley with a fresh infusion of flair. In addition to an expanse of 20 lanes that sparkle between exposed-brick walls, they also refurbished two bars, a dining area, a stage for musical acts with "Mahall's" emblazoned in the background, and pool tables. Locals crowd around tables in the restaurant, chugging brews and chowing down on elote, a grilled ear of corn rubbed with spices. The walls flaunt a mural obscured for years by wallpaper, which Joe and Kelly uncovered during the restoration process. In the lanes, the old-timey method of manual scoring helps the alley maintain its vintage aura and makes automatic counters obsolete.
The clatter of pins ripples through Cloverleaf Lanes, which proudly plays host to the longest-running American bowling tournament. But one need not be a pro to fling a ball down these lanes. Ample open bowling times mean that even newbie bowlers get a chance to experiment with bowling grips, whether using three fingers, four fingers, or their feet. Between games, guests can perch on one of the chrome stools at the snack bar or quaff a tasty brew chosen from the lounge's beer menu.