Apparently bowling is a sport that dates back to 3200 BC, and while many take it seriously as a game, I tend to use the phrase 'sport' lightly when it comes to the art of bowling, as does All Star Lanes. Recognising that as adults we may just need to be kept more entertained than children as we can likely cause more damage, All Star Lanes have come up with the perfect hybrid of bowling, bar, restaurant and photobooth. We headed on down to see why, no really, bowling may be more than a 'sport' after all.
There's a bowling bar in Elephant and Castle that I love, it's as crooked as Theresa May on delegation day and it's more than a bit run down; All Star Lanes is neither of these. Vintage orientated with a dash of the flash, All Star Lanes have brought their venue interiors into the 21st bowling century with a firm nod to the past. Split between restaurant, bar and bowling area, their Brick Lane venue is a homage to the late 50s. From pleather red diner style seating in the restaurant and vintage pin-up girls strewn about the walls to a bar that doses guests on an interior that practically marked the perfect 50s suburban home, burnt orange and mahogany, All Star Lanes is thematic and pretty much owes to the fun of the venue throughout. We even spent hard earned money on a photobooth picture, as time spent not spent drunk in one is time i'd rather forget.
The Food and Drink
There's a clear drive behind the menu at All Star Lanes, and it's Americana. With their nod to 50s culture, it's clear that the menu is all things diner style, and that any and all patties come with a free side of artery clogging. Opting for their Fillet of Fish burger (£9.50) and their Goats Cheese Stack with portobello mushroom and beer fried onions (£8.50), this is a restaurant that asks you to leave your calorie counting at the door as not only was the stack a great and hardy vegetarian option, the fish was fried perfectly and added a smart crunch to the burger that melded with the brioche bun and tartar sauce just right. Even their sweet potato fries came laced in just the right amount of salt for the perfect savoury side.
The cocktails are All Star Lanes are clearly laced with liquor and unbridled in creativity, and while our favourite came in the shape of their punchy Tommy's Margarita with its El Jimador Tequila, white peach purée and bite-adding jalapenos (£8.50), it was grabbing a few Pacifico bottles at the lanes that continued to keep things uninhibited in front of the skittles and proved All Star Lanes' bid to keep guests catered for and content.
With the clattering of bowling pins and rattling of cocktail shakers, it's easy to get swept up in the cool and casual atmosphere of All Star Lanes. You're not pressured to dress up and you're not pressured to dress down; from what I learnt you're not pressured to use a napkin and you're certainly not pressured into anything other than a cold one. Providing my friend and I the perfect excuse for a catch up, All Star Lanes lets you flit between conversations and lane heckling with ease.
Putting together our whole night, one almost-strike at a time, All Star Lanes Brick Lane continue to prove why their one of the biggest bowling brands in the UK. Not only are their themes cutesy and cool, and not only do their offer some seriously affordable date rates throughout the week, they're balancing a blend of boozing and entertainment that a city like London can't help but hunger for.