The look: The entrance to the sprawling space opens behind a huge rotating hinged door flanked by gas lights. Inside, the rich "modern English" decor resembles a club rather than a bowling alley. But there are 20 lanes divided into two sections and equipped with Table Tap P.Y.O.B. (pour your own beer) stations. Elsewhere, look for shuffleboard tables, two full-size bocce courts, basketball hoops and a pingpong room.
The scene: One recent weeknight, after-work groups congregated around the bar area, and a private party took over a row of booths. Soon, though, the lanes came to life with the sound of successive waves of crashing pins. And Amick could be seen working the room and making appearances behind the bar.
<span>The food: </span>Chef Thomas Collins (One Midtown Kitchen; Parish) oversees a menu billed as "upscale alley" fare. That translates to pizzas ($14) wood-fired in a pair of Neapolitan-style ovens, small bites like ranch and cheddar pork rinds ($5) and bigger bites like tuna poke salad ($16) and three-to-an-order tacos ($10.50). The triple TPP sliders ($11) are layered with tomatoes, peppered bacon and pimento cheese. The Pin Burger ($8) is a take on the secret In-N-Out "Animal Style," with double patties, caramelized onions, cheddar, pickles, lettuce and special sauce, on a potato bun.
The Drinks: On the drinks side, bar manager Trip Sandifer (The Spence; Restaurant Eugene) features fun stuff like a Moscow Mule slushie ($8) and a "Big Lebowski" tribute "House Caucasian" made with barrel-aged vodka and Kahlua, cardamom bitters and cream. There's an extensive classic cocktail list, along with wine and beer selected by Amick.
The extras: On Thursdays, there's live music; on Fridays and Saturdays, DJs start at 11 p.m.