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 balls have been barreling down the lanes of Drkula’s 32 Bowl for nearly half a century. Perhaps by osmosis—or maybe unintentional design—the brick and wood building roughly resembles a bowling pin turned on its side, with the roof veering outward above the bowling alley and veering inward above the adjoining Drac’s Pub. There, the kitchen staff refuels bowlers with a surfeit of 1/3-pound burgers, pub sandwiches, and beer. Outside the pub, Drac’s Sand Bar hums with chatter from the patio and cheers from its four sand volleyball courts.
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.
Since greasing its first lane in 1958, Lariat Lanes has spent the past half century serving its community with family-friendly bowling and entertainment. Located just a short distance from downtown Minneapolis, the pin-punishing emporium touts a lineup of 12 ultrasleek lanes that lend their surfaces to leagues, parties, and daily sessions of open bowling. Memorabilia adorns the alley's walls to create a timeline of storied collectibles, including keepsakes signed by the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and the Beastie Boys. In between evading gutters and matchbox cars using the lanes as a drag strip, guests can refuel with hot dogs, wings, and nachos at the restaurant or sip sodas and beers in the bar, where local sports games illuminate TV screens.
The bistro menu at Pinstripes can be served on the lanes and courts, in the dining room, or on the outdoor patio. Fill the first frame of your meal with a small plate such as the antipasto and cheese platter ($12). Pizzas such as the sweet and savory prosciutto fig flatbread ($12) arrive on wooden planks fresh from the wood-fire brick oven. An extensive wine list taps straight into Pinstripes' cavernous wine cellar. The candy-coated chocolate martini made with real Godiva chocolate ($9) is a perfect chaser for chocolaty house-made s'mores ($6). Pinstripes' Sunday- brunch spread includes a custom Bloody Mary bar and a magical chocolate fountain where strawberries and marshmallows bathe in nummy nectar (adults $22, kids $12).
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.