New life in the gutter
The latest louche lanes go beyond the old formula of balls, Bud and burgers.
Mon Sep 20 2010
The basics 110 University Place, between 12th & 13th Streets, Greenwich Village (1-212 255 8188, www.bowlmor.com). Subway L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to 14th Street-Union Square. Open 4pm-2am Mon, Thur; 4pm-1am Tue, Wed; 11am-3:30am Fri, Sat; 11am-midnight Sun. Cost $11.95-$12.95 per person per game; $6 shoe rental. Over-21 after 7pm Fri & Sat. Credit AmEx, MC, V.
The game With 42 lanes, this 71-year-old Village stalwart is the granddaddy of NYC’s alleys. You can request drink service to your lane, and the ball return is super-speedy (although the selection can be weak). Every Monday is 'Night Strike’: unlimited bowling after 9pm for $24.
The extras Bowlmor recently opened a carnival-style nightclub (www.carnivalnyc.com) on its top floor. The 16,000sq ft space has plenty of room for wandering stilt walkers, sword swallowers and jugglers, and you can try your hand at shooting games or a dunk tank. Or order the Dunk Tank: a two-gallon concoction of vodka, Malibu, gin and juice.
Score 8 pins
The basics 61 Wythe Avenue, between North 11th & North 12th Streets, Brooklyn (1-718 963 3369, www.brooklynbowl.com). Subway L to Bedford Avenue. Open 6pm-2am Mon-Thur; 6pm-4am Fri; noon-4am Sat; noon-2am Sun. Cost $40 per lane per hour; $4 shoe rental. Over-21 except noon-6pm Saturday. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V.
The game Brooklyn’s newest bowling alley, in an old ironworks foundry, is a sprawling homage to good food and local beer. The 16 lanes are in pristine shape, and the pins appear to be strung together with fishing wire, which seems to aid one’s score (purists might be miffed).
The extras Taking the usual bowling-alley amenities to new heights, BB has a menu from favorite local eatery Blue Ribbon (crispy pork rinds doused in cilantro and peppers, fatty brisket) and a full-size concert venue. All of the beer—by Sixpoint, Kelso and the next-door Brooklyn Brewery—is made in the borough.
The basics 200 North 14th Street, between Berry Street & Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn (1-718 387 3585, www.thegutterbrooklyn.com). Subway L to Bedford Avenue. Open 5pm-4am Mon-Thur; 2pm-4am Fri; noon-4am Sat, Sun; Cost $6-$7 per person per game or $30-$45 per lane per hour; $3 shoe rental. Over-21 only. Credit (bar only) AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V.
The game Channeling an ironic retro vibe, this eight-lane alley looks straight out of early-1980s Milwaukee, but it might behoove you to bring your own ball—many of the rocks at the Gutter have been chewed up by the ball machine.
The extras After tossing frames, retreat to the lounge, decorated with trophies and ancient beer signs, to drown your seven-ten-split sorrows. A dozen killer microbrews on tap include such local suds as Chelsea Checker Cab and a rotating selection from Sixpoint Craft Ales.
Score 6 pins
Leisure Time Bowl
The basics 550 Ninth Avenue, between 40th & 41st Streets, Hell’s Kitchen (1-212 268 6909, www.leisuretimebowl.com). Subway A, C, E to 42nd Street-Port Authority. Open 10am-midnight Mon-Wed; 10am-2am Thur; 10am-3am Fri; 11am-3am Sat; 11am-11pm Sun. Cost $7.50-$9.50 per person per game. Credit AmEx, Disc, MC, V.
The game This 26-lane alley in the Port Authority used to be your typical run-down, nicotine-stained alley, but after a slick revamp, it now enforces a dress code: guys aren’t allowed to wear hats or baggy jeans (what would The Big Lebowski’s Dude say?).
The extras Leisure Time recently debuted Frames, a 'fast food bistro,’ and an arcade area.
Score 7 pins