By Merle Exit
Gone are the days when you parked outside a drive-In for a hamburger and then went straight to what was termed a “Bowling Alley,” where pins were set up manually.
Bowling alleys became bowling centers with much newer technical amenities as well as food, a bar and recreation for children.
Riding this wave is Bowlero Queens, a revamped destination in Woodside that offers backlight bowling on 35 lanes, an arcade with games billiards and shuffle board and a sports bar. The idea is to draw both children and adults tp one facility to have a day or evening of total fun.
“We have video walls at the end of the lane so you can watch your favorite sports games or music video as well as interactive games in the arcade to keep the kids happy during their visit,” said Samantha Bevacqua, Bowlero’s marketing director. “A new bar has been installed and a renovated snack stand area.”
Formerly AMF 34th Avenue Lanes, Bowlero Queens is located at 69-10 34th Avenue and open seven days a week.
Bowlero is one of less than a half dozen bowling centers that remain in all of Queens County. Woodhaven Lanes, located at Woodhaven Boulevard in Glendale, and AMF Van Wyck Lanes in Richmond Hill closed their doors. Whitestone Lanes, despite rumors that it was closing, is open 24 hours a day. Other centers include JIB Lanes in Fresh Meadows, Bowl 360 in Ozone Park and Astoria Bowl in Astoria.
Bowlero is the latest venture of Bowlmor, a company created by the merger of AMF Bowling Worldwide and Strike Holdings in 2013. The new company, Bowlmor AMF, took over Brunswick Corpo.’s bowling business in 2014.
Many of company’s bowling centers are packed with different entertainment sidelines such as one at Chelsea Piers that includes Laser Tag and a challenging aerial ropes course.
The first Bowlero opened up in 2014 in Texas, then the company made its way to the Northeast with a second Manhattan location in Times Square.
At Bowlero Queens, Bevacqua described the background music as being “top 40 and high energy” and said “people can dance while they bowl.”
One of the other draws is Queens Bowlero’s menu that includes a 5-pound behemoth hamburger that Bevacqua said can be shared between 15 and 25 people and sliced up like a pizza with a price of $54.95.
“They tend to cook it medium,” she said. The bun is about a foot in diameter and comes with tomatoes, bacon, cheese, pickles and lettuce. The customer can opt for a 2-foot all-beef Mega Hot Dog for $18.99 or another shared item, called a Party Pretzel.