Wednesday, May 15, 2013 , Updated 5:05 p.m., June 20, 2013
UPDATED: Design District’s new Bowlounge is open
Bowlounge also teamed up with Twisted Root for food.
DALLAS Chatter of a neighborhood bowling alley in Dallas has been stirring for years. And frankly, the city lacks a chill outpost where even The Dude could sit, order a White Russian, and rack up strikes without spending a ton.
[UPDATE: Bowlounge opened Thursday, June 20, according to a post on the venue's Facebook. The bar and bowling lanes are open, but food has yet to come. Bowlounge is open 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.]
Bowlounge, in the Design District, is a 12-lane alley with straightforward intentions — to provide good food and inexpensive bowling, at $5-7 per game plus $2.75 shoe rental fee.
“You’ll come here to eat, bowl, and listen to live music all in one place,” said Craig Spivey, co-owner and general manager of Bowlounge.
Designed by co-owner and local architect Tom Weber, Bowlounge is charming. On a recent visit, the bowling lanes sparkled amid the rubble that will soon be the drinking, dining, and dancing area of the alley. A television displayed a vintage-looking electronic scorecard that recorded fallen pins as an employee threw curveballs down the polished lane. A flood of natural light poured through large windows and garage doors for a laid-back, inviting vibe.
This previously vacant warehouse in the Design District was transformed almost entirely with reclaimed materials from a closed bowling alley in Longview, Texas. Crews refinished the maple and pine hardwood for bowling lanes, bar tops, dining tables, and bathroom countertops. The globe light fixtures and hanging bowling balls, too, came from Longview. The duo even created Bowlounge’s rooftop signage by repurposing neon letters from the gutted East Texas location.
“It’s like redoing a classic car,” Spivey said. He likened Bowlounge to a “restored ’76 Corvette.”
In terms of eats, Bowlounge teamed up with Jason Boso and Quincy Hart of Twisted Root Burger Company to develop a hybrid menu of the restaurant's classics alongside some undisclosed dishes unique to the bowling alley. The menu is in the final stages of development, Spivey said.
Behind the bar will be 30 draft beers, half of which will be Texas-native craft brews, plus bowling alley classics like Miller High Life and PBR. Notably, beer will be available by the pitcher. Dillon McDermott, general manager for the restaurant and bar at Bowlounge, is working with Jason Kosmas of The 86 Co. spirits and Village Marquee Texas Grill to procure a list of craft cocktails using liquor from the tap. McDermott insisted there will be an offering for every palate.
“With the bowling alley, we’re trying to eliminate the pretentiousness of [cocktail culture],” he said.
opens in a few short weeks opened June 20, but it has been a long time coming for Spivey and Weber — six years. The two began courting the idea in 2007 after most of their favorite bowling spots (Don Carter’s, anyone?) closed. In 2009, they settled on a location in Deep Ellum, but the building was broken into and robbed of its copper material before anything was finalized. Spivey and Weber continued their search until January 2012, when the owner of the site and the duo’s third business partner endorsed their idea.
“The area and the building are what supported our concept,” said Weber. “There’s so much personality in this place.”
Bowlounge is located at 167 Turtle Creek Boulevard in the Design District neighborhood of Dallas.
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