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: $20 for $50 worth of bowling, pool, food, or drink at Southport Lanes, Seven Ten Lounge, or Seven Ten Lanes. Lane rental at any spot is $10–$20 an hour per lane depending on the day, so one Groupon can get you rolling for two hours or more. Billiards rates are $6–$12 an hour (depending on the hour), and 12-inch pizzas are about $10 at Seven Ten Lounge and Lanes. Combine two Groupons with groups of four or more and enjoy ample food and fun, which go together almost as well as food and sorrow, but with way less sorrow.
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 trot. 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 crusts). They politely request that you not send passion-crazed, severed "fingertips" as an expression of your love.
Seven Ten Lounge (2747 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park) and Seven Ten Lanes (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. After sampling some of the 10+ beers on tap, people love playing pool under the globe lamps and on the red checkered or gleaming hardwood floor. Chow down on atypical alley food, such as a hummus plate ($7.95) or Texas egg rolls ($6.95) on the restaurant-sized menus. Call the Bowling Hotline to reserve a bowling lane or to report suspicious over-the-line fouls. Weekends are busy, so reservations are recommended—or get your friends together on a weeknight to enjoy a slightly less-crowded atmosphere.
Though your Groupon is not valid toward special bowling pricing, you can use it toward food and drink specials.
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- …tasty bar food, nice size portions and good beer selection. Fun neighborhood establishments are hard to find, but Southport Lanes rocks! – itascakae, Citysearch
- We had to come here because our usual pool joint was booked and what a pleasant surprise. The tables are well maintained. The cues are good enough. The pool room is AMAZING with super high ceilings, large windows that open up for a great breeze on a warm night, and funky old chandeliers. – innachka2000, Judy's Book
- They have some of the best burgers in the city (everything thing [sic] else on the meny [sic] is great as well) and a good, laidback crowd after work and on the weekends. The pool tables are in excellent condition and the tinned ceilings, solid oak walls and railed bar add an air of class to an otherwise very low-key atmosphere. – slambert78, Citysearch
- This place is a beer drinker's heaven. With 30 beers on tap and 40 bottled brands, you can sample all night. If beer isn't your thing, no need to worry. Lucky's bartenders can mix up anything you desire. – Venita Griffin, Centerstage