Chicago >Arts & Entertainment > Lincoln Square Lanes
4874 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062541.970518 -87.689848
Neighborhoods: Ravenswood, Far North Side
This is a great spot for burgers – This is a great spot for a night out.
$4.50 per game, not per person – Pros: I came to this location for the first time on a Sunday afternoon, and after figuring out from a local that the place is above a hardware store, I was surprised to find so many parking spots. I thought by it being next to McDonald's, that was going to be the only place to park (and McDonald's has signs saying not to park there unless you're in the restaurant). I liked how cozy the place is. I went in and there was only one other family a few lanes down from us, so with two groups total, we had more than enough privacy to concentrate on the game. I liked that I had to take score because the rare occasions that I bowl, I let the automatice scoring board do it and was too lazy to learn how to tally spares and strikes. Now I know because the forms provide examples!
Cons: The lane lights up how many pins you knocked down the first time but not the second time, so pay close attention (for scoring purposes). The light in the ladies room wasn't on, I couldn't find it, and it wasn't until I yanked the old school towel dispenser that the lights flickered. The other lady there said she just went to the bathroom in the dark. I was also disappointed that on two separate occasions, I called to verify that the games were $4.50 each. The employee there said yes, but when I got there, it turns out it's $4.50 per person although he insists that it's $4.50 per game. That's false advertisement, in my opinion, because a game is two people having two turns each for ten rounds. So, if it's $4.50 per game and we play 3 games, that should be $13.50, but I was charged $27. That would've been fine if I had that much with me, but I had to use their ATM since they don't take credit cards (another downer).
Would I go back? Yes. But I'd be fully prepared knowing now the location, the real price of each PERSON not game, and knowing to yank the towel to get the bathroom lights to come on.
Upon finding this hidden spot, you will stumble upon a vintage bowling atmosphere. – The Scene
With its ordinary appearance, Lincoln Square Lanes has the feel of a hideaway - or a speakeasy. Located atop an Ace Hardware store, finding LSL can be a trying experience. Its generic "Bowl" marquee, which does not illuminate, is of little help. Lincoln Square Lanes squeezes 12 lanes into its cramped quarters, leaving little room for spectators. The alley is furnished in wood paneling with red trim around the alleys, creating a basement-type feel. On weekend nights, people of all ages are packed in behind the bowlers. It is not unusual to see infants sleeping in cribs as grandma tries to line up another strike.
While the bowling area is cramped, the alley bar, of course, is spacious; there are several booths with large windows making it easy to watch the action. Drinks are served from behind a horseshoe-shaped bar, with vending machine snacks the only edible accompaniments.
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