Strike up a scene at Rosebery's retro bowling alley
About halfway out to the airport, the neon lights of Manhattan Superbowl (or just ‘attan Superbowl’ when we went) might have caught your eye. And if you've yet to step inside, we think you should make it a priority to do so soon.
Beyond a tragically grand staircase, you'll find a vast space decked out like a neon-charged 1950s diner. And among the Cadillac sofas there are some delightful anachronisms: tattooed dudes throwing down Breezers, the VJ cross-fading Springsteen into Gaga, and even hand sanitiser at the bar (probably a good play if you didn't BYO bowling ball). It's these quirks that make the Superbowl so charming; it is chaotic, confused, trashy and, provided you leave your reservations at the door, astoundingly fun.
Time Out opted for the unlimited games package ($25 after 10pm on Friday and Saturday; $20 after 9pm all other nights) and grabbed a round of Coopers from the Pontiac Bar. Tenpin bowling, like all abandoned childhood loves, takes a bit of getting used to: there are bumpers and ball ramps for the real battlers, but gutterballs and tantrums are all part of the fun, and we reckon that if you knock down the beers, the pins will follow.
The neighbouring Newmarket Hotel does the grub, and all the regular pub suspects – burgers, schnitzels and pizza – are there. The good news is the staff will let you tuck in alley-side, and in the name of nostalgia and value, we recommend the kids' menu. The chicken nuggets and chips will fuel you up for a big game and at $8, the cheeseburger is an absolute steal – even if it does sit a little heavy on your aorta for the next few bowls.
Having mastered the pins, we decided to try our hand in the video arcade. Not many of the machines were manufactured in the last decade and a few are showing signs of wear (air hockey is a bit of a misnomer, for example), but some good old 90s gameplay is hard to top. We went the Daytona-Time Crisis double before returning to the lanes to find the vibe was decidedly loose leading up to the 1am close time.
It is not quite clear what Manhattan Superbowl is trying to be – ironic hipster hub, affordable family fun or cheesy retro date venue? – but we like whatever is going on. Head in during the week if quiet bowling is what you’re after, but the weekend is where it’s at: the disco rages, the food is served well into the night, and you might even catch Kent, the long-haired larrikin who lingers around lane three and is sure to offer some advice on your form, whether you want it or not.
|Venue name:||Manhattan Superbowl|
549 Gardeners Rd
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 9.30am-midnight; Fri, Sat 9.30am-1am|