Since its creation in 1640 by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, bowling has been known as the Sport of Dukes. In contrast to modern bowling, Leopold’s version involved hurling then-precious nectarines at servants. Leopold was quite happy to have created bowling, though his pleas to change its nickname to The Arch-Sport of Archdukes to better reflect his title went largely unheeded.
The nickname Sport of Dukes came into vogue again in the late '70s, when bitter rivals and twin brothers Duke "Buddy" Howard and Buddy "Duke" Howard dominated professional bowling. With today's Groupon, you'll be treated much like the Dukes of yesteryear, with entertainment to delight each of your senses.
Drink while you bowl, bowl before you play pool, or play a billiard ball into your drink with today's Groupon: for just $20, get $40 worth of bowling, pool, food, or drink at Southport Lanes or Seven Ten Lounge. Lane rental at both spots is $20 an hour per lane (cheaper rates available during non-peak hours), so one Groupon can get you rolling for two hours or more; pool tables are $15 an hour and 12-inch pizzas are about $10, so two Groupons will get you ample food and fun.
Part bar, restaurant, game room, and bowling alley, Southport Lanes, at 3325 N. Southport Ave., 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 is one of the few hand-set bowling alleys in the country where pin-boys collect and restack pin after pin as you strike, strike, and finally turkey. And if you're not doing so hot, you can roll "tips" stuffed in the finger holes to the pin-boys to help improve your score (popular tips include money and pizza fingers). They politely request that you not send passion-crazed, severed finger "tips" as an expression of your love.
Seven Ten Lounges' alleys (2747 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park and 1055 E. 55th St. in Hyde Park) aren't hand-set, but they've got the same seasoned style that makes Southport a great place to hang out. With more than 10 beers on tap, people love playing pool under globe lamps near a red checkered floor after chowing down on atypical alley food, such as a hummus plate or Texas egg rolls on the restaurant-sized menu. Call their Bowling Hotline to reserve a bowling lane. Weekends are busy, so reservations are recommended—or get your friends together on a weeknight to enjoy a slightly less-crowded atmosphere.
- This is a damn fun spot--ample pool tables, lots of tables, good food, and bowling! I've been going here for years and will keep coming back. – Paul C.
- Bowling and drinking have always been like peas in a pod, but Seven Ten takes it to that next level. This is a bar with a bowling alley, not the reverse... The beer selection is great and the food is pretty good as well. Throw in some good pinball and pool tables and you've got a great place to hang out. – Eric M.,
- I LOVE this place. Great food (killer reuben sandwich with fries), good atmosphere, and enough space that you and your friends can hang out and hear each other talk at the same time (shocking!) – Ben K.
1055 E 55th St
Chicago, Illinois 60615Get Directions