Any old primate can hurl heavy objects at lighter ones and delight in the resulting chaos—what separates humankind is our burning desire to keep score. Assert your humanity with today’s Groupon: $10 for an hour of bowling, plus shoes for up to four people at Southport Lanes & Billiards in Wrigleyville, Seven Ten Lounge in Lincoln Park, or Seven Ten Lanes in Hyde Park. Lane rental at any spot is $10–$35 an hour per lane depending on the day and time, and shoes are normally $3. Combine two Groupons with groups of four or more and enjoy ample bowling and fun, which go together almost as well as bowling and sorrow, but with way less sorrow.
Part bar, restaurant, game room, and bowling alley, Southport Lanes & Billiards, in Wrigleyville, is a Chicago landmark. During Prohibition, it was a bar and brothel before the owners added bowling as a front to conceal all the debauchery. The ladies of the night are gone (though there's a mural of partially nude women behind the bar), but the bowling and Art Deco decor (brass lighting, polished wood, and tin ceilings) stuck around. Southport Lanes is one of the few handset bowling alleys in the country, where pin-boys collect and restack pin after pin as you strike, strike, and finally turkey trot.
Seven Ten Lounge in Lincoln Park and Seven Ten Lanes in Hyde Park aren't hand-set, but they've got the same seasoned style that makes these establishments a happenin' hang out. Though not included with the Groupon, bowlers can sample from a wide draught selection and chow down on atypical alley food like the seven-layer taco dip ($7.95) on the Lincoln Park menu, or the catfish nuggets ($7.95) on the Hyde Park menu. Southport Lanes also boasts a savory menu, and all locations offer full restaurant and bar service. Call ahead to reserve a bowling lane or to report suspicious over-the-line fouls. Bowl away during a busy weekend, or get your friends together on a weeknight to enjoy a slightly less-crowded atmosphere.
Reservations are required for bowling.
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- As good as it gets! This neighborhood bar offers everything me and my friends want when we go to a bar. Pool/bowling/tvs/good and affordable food/drink specials/and more. – Matt M., Yelp
- My roommate and I were looking for a fun bar to hang out in that played great music, had cheap drinks, and a fun crowd. It was starting to look like a tall order until we found Seven Ten. – kate8gr8, Citysearch
Southport Lanes & Billiards, Seven Ten Lounge & Seven Ten Lanes
A trio of retro bowling alleys lures visitors into their distinctive confines for old-fashioned entertainment. Southport Lanes & Billiards exposes groups to waves of nostalgia with four lanes of hand-set bowling, making it 1 of only 10 remaining of its kind in the country. Outside of the bowling area, sleek wooden floors lead visitors to a line of pool tables, and an outdoor patio gives glimpses of the blooming neighborhood in warmer months.
Seven Ten Lounge, home to a bowling alley, billiard parlor, bar, and restaurant, envelops guests in the trappings of a bygone era. Art-deco motifs, vintage posters, and mahogany furnishings surround revelers as they lob a ball, aim a cue, or pity the defenseless pins. Local microbrews pepper the draft list with homegrown variety, and house-made fare elevates the menu past a typical alley nosh.
Hyde Park's Seven Ten Lanes not only exudes a similarly stylish décor, but also features gutter guards to contain errant throws by children or carnival musclemen with inner-ear imbalance.