Since the Flahertys opened Arden Bowl in 1938, it's grown to become a beloved component of the Twin Cities culture. So much so, that it's gaining national renown. Thrillist featured Flaherty's on their 2014 list of America's Best Banquet Bars, a status they defined as "a neighborhood institution that serves as a living, breathing part of its community ... something much more valuable than just a place to pull up a stool."
That might be one of the reasons families love going to Flaherty's for bonding time, whether during regular open play or family bowling clubs. But beyond family fun, Flaherty's also offers plenty of time for league bowling, lessons, and doubles events. And if the lanes are full, there's plenty happening in the onsite pub and grill, too. Trivia and bingo are two of the bar's big mainstays, and hungry diners can fill their bellies with burgers or Irish stew. You can even stop in for breakfast, since apparently people get hungry in the morning too these days.
At its full-service, well-maintained facility, Midway Pro Bowl caters to bowlers of all dedication levels. Its optional bumpers bolster beginners, whereas onsite bowling lessons employ instructors certified by the United States Bowling Congress to elevate skills. The pin-falling activity on Midway Pro Bowl's 32 lanes is monitored by automatic scoring systems, and fashionable bowlers can turn lanes into runways with sparkling new balls and accessories from its well-stocked pro shop. After the game, a full-service lounge conjures postgame relaxation with alcoholic beverages. Alternatively, the most dedicated competitors can refuel with burgers, hot dogs, or pizza from the snack bar before taking to the arcade to spar with virtual foes rather than playing bowling-ball dodge ball with real-life foes.
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 compose America can unite in the common cause of toppling 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 value).
As enthusiastic ball throwers add to a soundtrack of toppling pins, Doyle's Bowling & Lounge quiets less-impressive stomach grumbles with its in-house café. Before settling in to a cozy blue chair for two games with three family members or friends, pick up a pair of shoes from the desk and celebrate your group's matching footwear with a quick song-and-soft-shoe routine. When efforts to zero in on strikes work up an appetite, the friendly staff at the Down in the Alley Cafe will happily supply some sustenance, adorning a 12-inch pie with a topping of your choice and pouring a pitcher of soda to whet parched whistles. Add luminescent or aural intrigue to games by coordinating your trip with Doyle's live music or your own live rendition of The Wizard of Oz.
Opened in 2009, PINZ features high-tech amenities and a modern design, all part of its goal to offer customers a contemporary bowling experience that makes them forget about the dingy bowling alleys of the past. While sitting on leather benches, guests reach out to rest their drinks on wooden coffee tables before lacing up a pair of bowling shoes. After selecting a ball from a wooden and chrome rack, they center themselves in one of 10 lanes before sending pins sailing. This upscale experience is thanks to PINZ's 10 Pin Alley, a lounge with a private wait staff, and one of many amenities that sets PINZ apart from other bowling alleys. When not bowling in the lounge or on one of the alley's other 34 lanes, bowlers can grab a bite at Harvey's American Pub—an in-house restaurant and bar that serves pizza, burgers, and hearty entrees—or indulge in entertainment such as billiards and arcade games. The alley also contains a glow-in-the-dark laser-tag arena for settling bets over who is the best bowler.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.