Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park Reopens (for Actual Bowling!)

DSC02858If you attended shows at Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park in the 90’s, get ready to have your mind blown.  It smells good!  There is light enough to see! You can bowl there again!

Honestly, you wouldn’t recognize the place.  The 1933 Group, responsible for such venues as Harlowe in West Hollywood, Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake, Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater and a slew of others, have spent time and money in the renovation, and it shows. First and foremost the bowling lanes are back, spanning the width of the long but narrow 1927 alley. The lanes are all working now and instantly transport you to the sport as it was then – shorter lanes relative to what you may be used to in modern alleys and primitive tracks that bring your ball back so quickly you barely have time to take another sip of your drink.

There are plenty of tables in every corner of the room for those who would rather sit the game out, two ornate bars, and beautiful light fixtures throughout.  A stately mural that runs the width of the room was uncovered during the renovation, depicting the area’s scenery during the Arts & Crafts Movement.  The room is long enough that the mural seems far away, but its presence is felt from most everywhere.

Neopolitan-style pizzas are the only eats on the menu, arriving at your table quickly and deliciously (vegetarians will be happy with the topping choices).  There is a signature cocktail menu but the bars are full so your drink of choice is on tap too.  You can even spend some time watching the action in the kitchen since it’s wide open for viewing off of the lobby.  There is a smaller, quieter bar in front for drinks and conversation sans balls and pins in the background.  Opening night is tonight, though be prepared for some sticker shock – rates start at $50 an hour for bowling (for up to 6 people), shoes are $5 per person.

All in all, in bowling terminology it’s a strike!  As you look around you can remember fondly the shoe you lost jumping around at that Backbiter show, and you might even think you see the ghosts of regulars past slinking out as the kids roll in with their amps.

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