Throughout the week, Country Lanes offers open bowling hours and league opportunities for bowlers of all skill levels. In addition to indoor lanes, the alley welcomes outdoor revelers with courts for sand volleyball and horseshoes. The outdoor tiki bar keeps carousers stocked with cocktails and draft brews, and an indoor grill fires sandwiches, pizzas, and appetizers such as wonton wraps. A banquet hall is available for parties, and a teen glow-bowl league takes place on Fridays through the summer, allowing bioluminescent youngsters to bowl in their natural environment.
Within the cream-colored brick exterior of a century-old city building, Papa Luigi’s II marries an Italian restaurant with a bowling alley. Amid the wood paneling, wine-red carpet, and chandeliers of the dining room, taste buds can warm up with the house’s favorite appetizer—sicilian eggplant lathered in Papa’s special marinara sauce. Thin-n-crispy pizzas, which Papa Luigi’s II has been perfecting for 23 years, come loaded with canadian bacon or shrimp.
After meals, guests can adjourn to the newly remodeled, smoke-free bowling alley. Here, shining orbs hurtle down 10 lanes whose automatic bumpers forgive shaky aim, and an automatic scoring system lets bowlers tuck their personal mathematicians back into the trunks of their cars. Between rounds, players can refuel at a pub-style bar by tipping back chilled mugs brimming with imported tap beers and gazing at a trio of plasma televisions. Those seeking a new arena for competition can drop by the game room or rent the upstairs gym for shooting hoops.
Brown Deer Lanes sprawls before sparring sphere tossers a synthetic battlefield of meticulously maintained lanes and brave battalions of crisp, white pins. Competitors will slide into a pair of prismatic kicks, which are available in half sizes, before carefully adopting a choice ball from a robust harvest of able orbs. After evading gutters, picking up strikes, and high-fiving gregarious pinsetters, victors can celebrate by noshing on the sizzling slices of a large, two-topping pizza. Although not included with today's Groupon, Brown Deer Lanes also volunteers its thundering alleys to parties and frequent glow bowls. A fully stocked menu houses a variety of other snacks, while weekly Packer parties gather to cheer on Wisconsin's revered cricket team.
Castle Lanes, which was No. 36 on Bowlers Journal International's list of 95 must-see bowling centers, has a cozy Northwoods-Log-Homes-esque interior that invites bowlers of all ages and abilities to relax and perfect their pin-toppling skills. On 24 glossy lanes, bowlers sling new house balls at pins between watching the alley's HDTVs, listening to music with the alley's iPod hook-ups, or surfing the Internet on the alley's free WiFi. Castle Lanes is a smoke-free environment, making it friendly to families and sneezy dwarves. The alley's dedication to an upscale environment filled with top-notch equipment is fostered by owners Phillip Ontko, who is a Racine Bowling Hall of Famer and the Nolan Ryan of bowling strikes, and his wife, who can easily roll a bowling ball up a hill.
King Pin Management LLC nurtures and guides three restaurants and a dozen bowling centers all across Wisconsin. Their staff consultants and accountants track all these operations, tallying every penny while auditing employee performance. In addition, training instructors travel around to give employees refresher courses on proper workplace conduct, while menu developers help make restaurant offerings more taste bud-friendly. Not even pinsetters and floors escape the staff's attention—technicians comb every bowling lane and machine to root out faulty wiring and make sure new pin system computers know how to form a perfect triangle.
Watertown Bowl's sprawling lanes play host to up to six players during each two-hour outing. After lacing up complimentary kicks, parties can pluck neon-hued balls from orderly racks and snag a lane with or without bumpers. After striking down all 10 pins or splitting sibling pins from their perennial feuds, each player can sip pop or beer and munch a pizza slice decked with such toppings as cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and ground beef. Themed bowling events add excitement to each outing, and groups can schedule their trips to coincide with alley happenings such as Family Thunder Alley, which charms clans with glow bowl, festive lighting, and tot-suitable music. During Weekend Thunder Alley on Saturday nights, orb-slingers can bowl in the dark as music blasts, lights flash, and balls moonwalk down the runway.