The final word in old-school bowling, Lincoln Square Lanes debuted in 1918 and has been fortunate enough to survive the ebb and flow of bowling trends with its charm intact. Aside from being the oldest lanes in Chicago, Lincoln boasts another distinction: It's the only upstairs bowling alley in town. Situated right above an Ace Hardware, bowlers climb a flight of stairs and enter Lincoln's 12 lanes through the bar, a space almost as large as the bowling area itself.
Dominated by a large, red semi-circular bar, the area is separated from the lanes by a wall filled with large windows, easily allowing bowlers to keep an eye on their game while ordering drinks (and letting barflies ogle bowlers on the sly). Lincoln Square forces you to dust off your math skills (or at least sneak a calculator) and score by hand.
An upstairs locker area and balcony makes a good space to survey all the lesser bowlers below, as well as an excellent area for bowlers to sneak off and smooch between frames.
Games cost $4 per person; shoe rental for $3.
Centerstage Reviewer: Quanah Humphreys