Though many restaurants try to blend upscale dining with a unique atmosphere, customers are often terrified by the singing animatronic maitre d's and injured waltzing in the ball-pit ballroom. Achieve the right balance with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of American cuisine and bowling at Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro. Sparians is restricted to those 21 and older after 10 p.m.
Sparians boasts 18 bowling lanes and plush couches which provide welcome reprieve when the hoard of TVs can't find a game bigger than the World's Slowest Man tournament. As blacklights pulse and neons swirl across the polished lanes, bowlers of all skill levels watch their flung spheres hurtle through a vast, unknowable void before exploding into a supernova of ten scattered pins. Projection screens above the lanes keep throwing arms pumped with sports, music, and the hard-hitting tackles of Xtreme Kongress on C-SPAN.
For all the flickering candles above the mantel of its fireplace, The Bistro at Sparians lines its lounge with a date-nightable menu of upscale eats in the dining room. A starter of seven firecracker shrimp ($12) or hand-breaded wings ($8 for 10 pieces) tickles the tongue's heat receptors, leaving them alert enough to appreciate the creativity in chef Scott Merritt's pecan-encrusted salmon fillet glazed with bourbon-infused maple syrup ($17) or his marinated london broil nestled amid garlic mashed potatoes and peppercorn demi-glace ($17). A finale of southern fried pecan pie ($5) defuses sweet teeth before their timer reaches zero.
Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro
Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro aims to elevate the traditional alley experience by creating a lounge-like environment suitable for a daytime family outing as well as a night out on the town. Comfortable, plush couches replace the hard plastic seats normally stationed behind lanes, giving visitors places to more easily kick back and relax in between frames. Black lights lend a midnight-worthy glow to the bowling areas, transforming each ball into a neon streak as it hurtles toward the pins. A perfect score is rarely the primary goal, though. Instead, Sparians encourages visitors of all skill levels to come and enjoy themselves in an environment determined to bring bowling alleys into the 21st century.
Beyond the lanes, the entertainment center features numerous opportunities for guests looking to pass a few hours. A separate upscale-sports-bar area helps quench thirsts with frosty beers or potent cocktails and serves hearty comfort foods such as crispy chicken wings, burgers, and stone-baked pizzas.
141 Park at North Hills St.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609