Last night’s opening of the much-hyped new Brooklyn Bowl elevates everything about ten-pin to a new level: the food (courtesy of Blue Ribbon), the music (it’s also a concert venue) and the prices ($50/ hour during premium slots!) The place certainly bucks the trends; two landmark alleys, Mark Lanes and Bedford Bowl, have closed in recent years. So how does the glammy new joint stack up against the remaining Brooklyn lanes, price wise? A comparison.
All game prices are per person, per game, unless otherwise noted.
61 Wythe Avenue (G to Nassau or L to Bedford), Williamsburg, 718-963-3369
This is like no other bowling alley you have seen. Mood lighting, leather couches, and a massive sound and video system suitable for NASA complete the night club feel. The owners have put a ton of money into this place, and so will the bowlers. Lanes can only be rented by the hour, but up to 8 people can play. Bring some friends to allay the cost.
Games: $40/hour regular, $30/hour during Happy Hour (Tue – Fri 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.), $50/hour during premium times (Fri 2 a.m. – 4 a.m.)
Menu prices not available yet
200 N. 14th Street (G to Nassau or L to Bedford), Williamsburg, 718-387-3585
Located just a few blocks away from Brooklyn Bowl, Gutter is more bar than bowling alley. It sports brick walls, wooden booths with cracked vinyl, and lots of draught beer choices. With only eight lanes, this draws fewer serious sportsmen. The setup is nonetheless full-service with electronic scoring and automatic pin spotters. They also have a decent happy hour before 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and after 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Games: $6 before 8 p.m., $7 after 8 p.m.
Beer: $15 pitchers ($12 during Happy Hour)
Pizza: No food, but you can bring your own.
1570 60th Street (D, M, N to New Utrecht – 62nd Street), Dyker Heights/Borough Park, 718-331-9000
Maple Lanes’ low-slung building belies the massive gaming area inside. With 48 lanes, Maple is the destination for all serious bowlers within a 10-mile radius. It also houses some new arcade games (guitar hero, anyone?), a full bar, Day-Glo carpeting, and even a pizzeria. The alley attracts a diverse clientele, though mostly locals. It also has the most non-ironic handlebar moustaches and sleeveless Ts per capita of any Brooklyn alley. Check the web site for daily specials and get there early to claim a lane on busy league nights.
Games: $4.50 days, $6 nights
Beer: $3.50 bottles (no pitchers)
Pizza: $12-14 pies
461 37th Street (D, M, N, R to 36th St.), Sunset Park, 718-832-2695
Nestled between brownstones and brick homes is Melody Lanes. This alley caters to serious bowlers and league players but maintains a family-run atmosphere. A cozy enclosed bar sits between the 30 lanes, each recently redone with modern scoring computers and new carpeting. Games are relatively expensive, but cheap pitchers make up for it.
Beer: $9 pitchers
Pizza: $2.50 slice (no pies)
1 Bouck Court (F to Avenue X), Brighton Beachy, 718-336-6700
With $1.75 games during summer weekends, Shell Lanes is the cheapest place to bowl in Brooklyn, and you may not be surprised when you get there. The place could do with a little spiffing up—though they have recently upgraded their scoring computers. Rough around the edges, yes, but in a good way. It’s one of those places to cross off your Brooklyn to-do list.
Games: $3-5 week, $1.75 weekends (summer special)
Beer: $3 bottles (no pitchers)
Pizza: Not available at print time.