Bowling alleys should always come with wood paneling and the intoxicating scent of canned cheese, but a reluctant exception is made for Lucky Strike, the sleek L.A.-based chain with a brand new, 26-lane spot in Hell's Kitchen. Like its sister alleys, New York's Lucky Strike aims for a loungey-retro feel -- in this case with kitschy '60s light fixtures several portraits of Marilyn Monroe -- combined with clubby touches: each lane has its own huge flat screen monitor displaying scores, its own couches and cocktail service (bottle service, too. Recession schmession!). Is it much different from equally-sleek 300 New York at Chelsea Piers? Not really. Does it make an excellent spot for those of us unlucky enough to work near Times Square to wait out rush hour? You bet. Lane rental is around $9 per person per hour (parties over eight can rent by the hour -- call for a price quote). They've got Budweiser and Budlight on draft (Stella and Guinness, too) ($6-$7.25), and a cocktail list that's still in the works but includes a Dude-ical White Russian concoction called "The Bigger Lebowski," and an unfortunately named but delicious-sounding Mango Shizzle, made with Chambord, cranberry juice, mango liqueur and pineapple. Less-gifted bowlers can play pool at one of the several tables facing the lanes, or hang out with some snacks (several people appeared to be enjoying pepperoni pizza and mac and cheese bites) in the adjoining plush sunken lounge complete with velour couches and weird globular lanterns. But purists rest assured: Despite all of the carefully-injected glitz to drive home Lucky Strike's bowling-ally-as-club spin, you're still required to wear the shoes ($5). Form a league with your co-workers, have a couple drinks and go home with a seat on the train.
Lucky Strike Lanes
624-660 W. 42nd St.