Not everyone is into bowling. "Boutique bowling" is for an even more specific demographic. But booze and pie -- now there are two things you can get behind, whether you're "The Dude" or not. The folks at Bowl and Barrel are reading your mind.
It ain't cheap to bowl here. On a Saturday night, you'll throw down $50 to rent a lane for an hour of bowling. This rubs some people the wrong way, considering you can bowl at a place like AMF at the rate of $18.19 per person, for twice the amount of time. But then, you won't find butterscotch pie on AMF's menu. And, even at five bucks for a slice of silky vanilla cream pie floating in a moat of delicious sea salt caramel sauce, it's a trade-off worth your consideration.
After dinner some night, call up a friend and grab a seat at Bowl and Barrel's bar. In the high-ceilinged, low-key space, you'll be forced to have a good time whether you feel like it or not (thanks, heavy-on-Beastie Boys-soundtrack). Check the game score on the TV overhead, and soon a flannel-shirted bartender will take your drink order.
They offer beers by the bottle and "by the barrel," whiskey shots, a large variety of wines, plus numerous cocktails (including a White Russian dubbed the Lebowski). This may be an easy decision for you if you have a standard go-to, but at the end of the day, maybe you're tired of making decisions. If so, go with the Barkeep's Whimsy. The bartender will ask you some questions to get a feel for what you like, but you have the luxury of not really having to think.
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If you tell her you want something that goes well with the butterscotch pie, maybe you'll wind up with the magic I got: a light, biting concoction crafted from bourbon, ginger beer, hibiscus liquor, and lemon juice. The flavors were a fitting complement to the salty caramel sauce I scooped up like soup after the pie had disappeared. If I had been at home, I would've licked the plate. There's a reason they only have one dessert on the menu.
Emboldened by a cocktail or two, maybe you'll want to bowl a few frames after all. Fifteen lanes are just a few steps from the bar. With black tufted leather seats, dangling Edison bulbs, and access to the gourmet menu, it's a far cry from the stale-aired, tobacco-tinged bowling alleys of yore. Maybe you'll just want to wander past the lanes and take in the lively high-fiving and random "Woo!"s of people who are more into bowling than dessert.
Stop at one slice of pie, or, if they're not out of boxes big enough for a whole pie, take one home. It's okay. To quote John Turturro, "It don't matter to Jesus."