Bar of the Week: Brooklyn Bowl

Donhae Koo

Back when Peter Shapiro and Charley Ryan had the run of Tribeca music venue Wetlands Preserve, they experienced firsthand the inherent power of bowling. The carefully guarded exteriors of their hipper-than-thou staff would come down simultaneously with the pins at holiday bowling parties. Interesting, they thought, but we could do better, and after a decade-long gestation, Brooklyn Bowl was born. Unlike its Williamsburg neighbors and probably their former staff, Brooklyn Bowl does away with the irony, taking itself as seriously as a place with circus punks and frozen margaritas by the pitcher ($30-$33) can. But it's not at the expense of fun, it just would do Al Gore proud. LEED-certified with local this, sustainable that, and the recycled other thing, Brooklyn Bowl offers more than just your run-of-the-mill bowling alley cum rock club cum Blue Ribbon outpost. What's that you say? You can't just nosh on Blue Ribbon pork rinds ($7) and fried chicken ($14.50-$69) while O'Death takes the stage at every bowling alley? Well, it seems Brooklyn Bowl is in the business of firsts. Bowlers lounge on luxurious leather Chesterfield sofas rather than those orange molded plastic chairs of old, and watch the theatrics of the Who on nine huge HD screens, along with the occasional baseball game or excerpts from Planet Earth. If a band isn't taking the velvet-curtained stage that night, indie and classic rock blare from the sound system. The sleek, cavernous space boasts a carnival theme with custom-made roulette wheels at the bowling sign-up desk for giveaways and a Coney Island shooting gallery circa 1909 as the main bar's backdrop. Local brews on tap from Sixpoint, Brooklyn, and Kelso ($5-$7 pint/$19-$23 pitcher) help you while away the sometimes hours-long wait for a lane. Early arrivers, however, can forgo the wait and take advantage of the bowling happy hour (Tues-Fri, 6-8 p.m.) to save $10 off the standard $40 per lane per hour cost. Blue Ribbon is now serving their full menu, which can be had at the restaurant within or best of all, lane-side.

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Ave.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 963-3369

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