The clatter of pool balls melds with the cheering from sports fans at Skip & Jan's Sports Bar, where 24 pool tables tempt those not busy watching the game on one of 20 flat-screen televisions. During time-outs, patrons nibble on tavern fare, such as potato skins, third-pound burgers, and tuna melts. The bar’s wings, which are served with nine different sauces, earned the eatery a feature in the Arizona Republic as one of the area’s 20 best places for wings not including a chicken farm.
Lucky Break takes its fun and games very seriously. Between games of pool played on the six hardwood billiard tables, players bite into half-pound burgers topped with eclectic ingredients, such as spicy peppers, brie, and avocado slices. The burgers join a lengthy menu of classic grill fare, including massive grilled-cheese sandwiches, fish tacos, and regulation-size buffalo chicken sliders for use in edible games of table hockey. To wash down eats, bartenders kick open the kegs connected to 24 taps and pour beers that diners hoist in triumph for each home-team win, as viewed on 14 wall-mounted flat-screen TVs and six mammoth viewing stations.
Through FlexLiga's array of amateur leagues, adults indulge their athletic appetites with golf, tennis, basketball, and other contests. The company handles the planning for leagues in a wide variety of sports—from golf and tennis to chess and pool—grouping participants by skill level and then letting them square off each week. Players use online scheduling tools to coordinate exact times and location, whether that means meeting opponents at a public park for a game of basketball or stringing a net across a dinner table for a vigorous ping pong match, .
It's hard not to be impressed by FlipSide. It's a family gaming center and bowling alley, so one would expect it to be hectic and sticky with the spills and stains often left in rambunctious children's wake. But in fact, it's impeccable. The brand-new digs have gleaming wood floors, modern furniture, and industrial open ceilings.
As you settle into one of the plush banquettes at the end of a bowling lane, FlipSide becomes even more impressive once you realize what else the space is clean of. There's no stale smoke lingering in the air or puddles of stale beer on the tables; there's no gruff banter coming from the tipsy league players a few lanes down. That's because FlipSide is truly a family place?they don't serve alcohol, and the lanes are exclusively for open bowling. As families toss colorful balls down the 28 AMF-standard lanes, projection screens above the pins let Mom and Dad check the score of the football game while they're teaching the kids how to pick up a spare and get a salon-quality blowout using the lane's hand dryer.
Elsewhere, kids and parents can strategize attack plans in the two-floor laser-tag arena, battle each other in nearly 60 arcade games, and send each other spinning in collisions of bumper car crash pods with 360-degree range of motion. Parents will also appreciate high-end touches such as a billiards area.
Fueling the activities is the Roundtrip Cafe, where an experienced kitchen staff serve up brick-oven pizzas, sirloin burgers, and even rib eye steak. Families can gather and enjoy a meal that's far more satisfying than the hunk of cheese at the center of FlipSide's laser maze.
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 $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.39 value).