Beyond the Black Lights: Denver Bowling Alleys for All Types of Bowler
Some people like their bowling alleys like dive bars—places with old musty carpet, scoring on paper, balls with first names etched into them—and some people want a bit of spectacle, with lasers, black lights, and Big Buck Hunter games. Thankfully, the Denver bowling scene offers a wide array of spaces, and it goes beyond the typical old-school joints and family-oriented ones. Some are in swanky club spaces and hip gastropub-game rooms. Here’s our rundown of the best alleys.
For a new spin on the bar/bowling
Nightlife in Denver—and any bar scene anywhere, really—can easily start to feel stale after a little while, but bowling has a way of energizing your typical drinking experience with pals. Check out Punch Bowl for a unique spin on games and dining. Set inside a Victorian warehouse, it offers retro games like bowling and shuffleboard amid a gastro-diner and craft cocktail bar. Meanwhile, Lucky Strike’s Denver location transplants the bowling alley into an upscale club-like atmosphere complete with bottle service and a 100-square-foot video wall.
For strikes and spare ribs
Even with its eight fully equipped lanes, bowling isn’t the main draw at Moe’s Original Bar B Que. That would be the food. Smoked ribs, pulled pork, and wings are surrounded with hearty southern side dishes in the form of cornbreads and slaw. Grab a beer—or a sweet iced tea—and bowl a game, then hit up the stage area to watch some live tunes.
For the kids and the cosmically inclined
Fat Cats in Westminster is like a cosmic funhouse full of glowing, flashing, and strobing attractions. Though the 29 lanes of bowling don’t turn cosmic until past most kids’ bedtimes, the glowing mini-golf course and the laser maze should provide enough retinal stimulation to suffice. Older bowlers who prefer the cosmic game can show up at 10 p.m. on weekends, when the lights drop, the lasers flare, and the music begins.
For the purist’s game
Those who see lasers and loud music as nothing but distractions need not fret; plenty of bowling alleys in Denver still keep the traditional game in sharp focus. Crown Lanes has an old-school feel and plenty of well-maintained lanes for serious bowlers. Lasers and glowing lights only come into play on weekend nights; otherwise it’s strictly regulation play, with leagues and a pro shop for full immersion.