Unlike nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, bowling alleys aren’t a dime a dozen in Miami. In fact, some of us are still lamenting the closing of well-beloved spots like Don Carter’s and Lucky Strike, gone the way of the gutter. Fortunately there are still some alleys left standing where we can channel our inner Dude and play a perfect game.
Some of these are long-standing classics, the kinds of places your grandfather used to bowl at. Others are brand new favorites, the luxury lanes that provide everything from handcrafted cocktails to world-renowned DJs. Pick your poison and then get ready to bowl a strike at these local alleys.
1. Kings Bowl
Think crafty cocktails, live music and glow-in-the-dark bowling pins. That’s what Kings Bowl Doral offers guests — an upscale bowling alley with full-service lounges, private dining spaces, 14 ten-pin bowling lanes and a four-lane private bowling suite. The 20,000-square-foot complex has a kitchen where all food will be made from scratch by an executive chef. Also featured are themed rooms, one of them dubbed the “flamingo room,” a brightly-colored private dining and gathering space with a family-style menu.
Kings Bowl Doral, 3450 NW 83rd Ave., Doral; www.kingsbowlamerica.com or 844-494-9400
The old Strike Miami may be gone, but that doesn’t mean bowling at Dolphin Mall is out of the question. Bowlmor’s newest concept, Bowlero, is set to open Oct. 15 and from the looks of it, it’s going to be a hit. This new bowling alley features 34 gorgeous new lanes of blacklight bowling that scream SoBe without needing to drive as far. Comfortable couches and tables to sit at between frames are available at the end of each lane, where you can sip on the house sangria and nosh on their “Go Crazy” menu items like the Behemoth Burger and S’mores Skillet. There’s also lazer tag available for when you’re all bowled out.
11401 12th Street, Sweetwater; 305-594-0200 or www.bowlero.com
3. Bird Bowl
Bird Bowl is undoubtedly Miami’s oldest bastion for bowling. It’s the bowler’s bowling alley, where families come to teach their kids to bowl and where bowling leagues come to hit pins and throw back pitchers and win some tournaments. It’s been in operation for well over 50 years and considering it’s popularity (good luck finding parking on weekends), it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Folks come here for good times, and between the bowling, the bar, the pool tables, and the arcade, there’s no doubt they’ll have it. Locals love this last remaining piece of Miami’s Americana and tourists should as well.
9275 Bird Road, Miami; 305-221-1221 or birdbowl.com
4. Basement Bowl at Edition
The Basement at Edition is one of Miami’s best nightclubs for a number of reasons. For one, it’s incredibly posh without being unbearably pretentious. It’s also the type of place where someone like Questlove will drop by for a kick-ass DJ set. But Basement is also home to a number of eccentricities: one being a skating rink and the other being the Basement Bowl, a totally Miami bowling alley where the booze flows freely, the neon lights shine bright, and no children are present. Though only four-lanes wide, it’s proving to be the hottest spot for midnight bowling in town.
2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4548 or www.editionhotels.com
Located in the Shops at Sunset Place, this luxury bowling alley is the perfect venue for parties and corporate events. With it’s sleek and retro look, it’s the kind of place you might imagine the cast of Mad Men would’ve bowled at. Kids and adults both love the ambiance here, but more than that, they can’t get enough of the food. Splitsville prides itself in serving a unique, quality menu featuring everything from hand-rolled sushi and filet sliders to rice bowls, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, and of course, pizza. And on weekends, once 10 p.m. rolls around, the family-friendly venue goes adults-only, when dress codes and delightful cocktails make it a classy affair.
5701 Sunset Drive, Suite 202, South Miami; 305-665-5263 or www.splitsvillelanes.com