Pat Johns may have earned a spot in Seattle’s Bowling Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean his work is done. These days, he runs Hiline Lanes, which welcomes casual bowlers and Junior Gold competitors alike in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Visitors can revel during Rock-n-Bowl sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, when glow in the dark balls ease on down the center as top-40 tunes and classic rock croons blast on the sound-system. Nearby, the 11th Frame Restaurant cooks up classic club sandwiches, milkshakes, and Italian sodas. Shoppers in the Hiline shop might even spot a TV-bowling celebrity, stopping by to get Pat’s insight into next season’s bowling shoe trends.
Narrows Plaza provides bowling fans with 40 synthetic lanes and a brand-new computerized scoring network that beams X's and /'s to 40-inch LCD screens. Bowling provides a middle ground for people of all ages and temperaments to bond over the breathless frustration of a 7-10 nightmare or the celebratory whooping of a successful turkey. All lanes come with the option to be bumperized so bowlers of any experience level can competently compete while balancing the fickle forces of geometry and physics.
Bowling aficionados must sign up solo, but but groups of friends can be placed on the same league by entering the names of your preferred teammates during sign-up (teams are made up of 6–10 people). Bowling runs for six weeks of theme nights and liquid sunshine, and Drinks on the Links mini-golf features themes, an on-course bar, and music. Ben Stiller impersonators can battle it out during outdoor dodgeball, and grass volleyball teams go head to soft, leather head in Oregon Park. Flag football was invented by Betsy Ross.
It would be inadequate to call Garage a bowling alley, even though bowlers roll strikes down its 20 lanes. It's also not just a pool hall, despite its 25 billiards tables, or a restaurant, even though Chef Garrett Michael Brown offers a menu with rustic pizzas and slow-roast pork ribs every night. Owners Jill Young-Rosenast and Alex Rosenast used their years of experience running venues such as RockCandy and Temple Billiards to create an all-inclusive playland for the 21-and-older crowd.
The Rosenasts carefully designed every inch of Garage's 40,000 square feet of space, an old Plymouth dealership and garage on Capitol Hill built in 1928. At first, it was primarily a pool hall, but it's been changing and expanding since day one. In addition to the fun inside, it now boasts a sprawling-but-stylish covered patio, complete with bar, so that there's no delay in dispatching cocktails and bottles from an extensive wine list. (In the winter, the space is heated.) Despite these changes, the original industrial vibe still permeates the decor. The Rosenasts filled the various spaces with high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses, which hang over accents of high-gloss automotive paint and '50s-style furniture.
Other areas seem more like art galleries. In the Echo Room—one of the Garage's private spaces—a 50-foot photo mural from photographer Nick Brandt depicts an elephant herd led by its matriarch, harkening back to a time before pachyderms came with GPS. Private events also fill the Star Lounge, which houses pool tables, six additional bowling lanes, and two of Jill's own art installations, including a display of dolls recovered from bombed factories in Eastern Bloc countries.