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.
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.
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.
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.