Bowling can be a cruel temptress to the unsuspecting masses daring to immerse themselves into the bowling community. After many unsuccessful experiences as a child, including throwing a bowling ball onto another poor family's lane, I was ready to be properly educated at Manchester's newest arrival and much hyped, All Star Lanes.
As we strolled past the fluorescent blue glow of All Star Lanes' bright neon welcoming sign, I couldn't help but marvel at the mystery that lay behind the lights. The venue opens into a lobby of American bowling memorabilia as if plucked from a 1950’s Hollywood movie. The main attraction is a private suite towards the back end of the venue. In a section based loosely on Elvis' jungle room, two lanes lie waiting to be discovered accompanied by a karaoke system and a private bar.
The good times will definitely be rolling at this top Manchester bar.
The Clientele & Atmosphere
There is a sense of adventure within the atmosphere, with the sternest of people reverting back to their carefree teenage youth. With a brilliant mix of students, professionals and families, All Star Lanes appeals to the masses. I even managed to overcome my bowling negativity to score high, only to be out-cheated towards the end through the help of the staff's expertise (be sure to ask the staff for a demonstration as they carry some great secret tips).
The drinks at all All Stars make it a great Manchester cocktail bar.
The Food & Drink
With years of experience bartending these guys know how to create a truly amazing cocktail. The most popular include the ‘I Love NY’ and ‘Roller Girl’, both with quirkiness and originality. I sampled the ‘Gin and Elderflower Julep Jar’ which was out of this world. The bar staff are friendly enough to delve into recommendations and will not hesitate to help. We were even persuaded to try the unusual shot of bourbon and then shot of pickle juice which surprisingly was really tasty.
The food was delicious; they have a diverse range of twisted American style cuisine on offer, including a very popular lobster sandwich. After much deliberation I plumped for the Mac & Cheese served with a glorious tomato side that was mouth-watering, though I couldn't help displaying my jealously when I watched the Denver Pocket arrive for my friend, which I would highly recommend!
We were then greeted and shown into the secluded whiskey tasting section. With the largest whiskey collection in the UK you’re bound to find something to suit your taste buds. All Star Lanes expansive whiskey portfolio includes the prestigious Hannisville Rye Circa 1863 and with only 24 measures available, once it's gone, it's gone forever. Plus at a £100 a shot I'd be extremely conscious when thinking about ordering one. If you are daring enough to take the plunge then you will be rewarded with a celebratory plaque next to the whiskey cabinet that comes complete with novelty tumbler.
All Star Lanes' food looks set to rival the best Manchester restaurant bars.
Though 'bowling' is a scary word to some, All Star Lanes has given new life to the game. With an amazing American influence, incredible food and drinks and that much needed fresh concept for the Manchester nightlife scene, I could have daydreamed in 1950's America all night! One thing's for sure, bowling will never be the same again.