Named the Best Place to go Bowling in Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle 2011 and 2012, The Alley exhibits a genuine retro charm with 24 original hardwood lanes and classic paper scorecards. They also seek to appeal to night owls with a 1 a.m. closing time Friday and Saturday. After spending hours toppling pins, bowlers can divert their attention with flat-screen TVs showing laneside sports and a state-of-the-art sound system blasting toe-tapping didgeridoo drones. They can also purchase lunch and dinner fare from the expanding menu at The Balcony, which replenishes famished bowlers with savory burgers and fries.
With 18 sparkling lanes, fully automatic scoring, a pro shop, and a full bar and grill, Rainbow Lanes entices rollers of all ages to enjoy a classic pastime in a timeless environment. Quartets of bowlers lace up rented kicks before lobbing giant marbles down slicked-up lanes, with gutters guarded by optional bumpers to aid beginners and those writing dissertations on ricochets. While crashing through cliques of pins, groups can slake hungers with slices of a gooey two-topping pizza, great for pairing with conversations about celebratory dance techniques and sips from a pitcher of soda or beer.
Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro aims to elevate the traditional alley experience by creating a lounge-like environment suitable for a daytime family outing as well as a night out on the town. Comfortable, plush couches replace the hard plastic seats normally stationed behind lanes, giving visitors places to more easily kick back and relax in between frames. Black lights lend a midnight-worthy glow to the bowling areas, transforming each ball into a neon streak as it hurtles toward the pins. A perfect score is rarely the primary goal, though. Instead, Sparians encourages visitors of all skill levels to come and enjoy themselves in an environment determined to bring bowling alleys into the 21st century.
Beyond the lanes, the entertainment center features numerous opportunities for guests looking to pass a few hours. A separate upscale-sports-bar area helps quench thirsts with frosty beers or potent cocktails and serves hearty comfort foods such as crispy chicken wings, burgers, and stone-baked pizzas.