Once 10 p.m. hit, Suburbanite Bowl became a very different place. We entered the divey bowling alley in the midst of a Friday league night (luckily there were still a few open lanes). Classic rock and country blared for the mish-mash crowd of overly competitive bowlers, townies, seniors and families. There were a few lanes with outsiders like us, but most of the clientele seemed to be here every Friday like clockwork.
As league play wound down, the place all but cleared out. Soon, the lights were replaced with blacklights and, boom, it got cosmic. The adult-friendly music was replaced with dance and hip-hop tunes. The large older crowd was replaced with a smaller set of younger bowlers.
It's not that the earlier rounds weren't fun. Bowling is always a good time and league bowling always offers up some entertaining people-watching. But things did seem to get a little more exciting when the lights went down (although it may have also been due to the beers going down). There was suddenly more space, and the music was more well-suited for busting out a cocky strut after those strikes and spares.
Behind the alleys, Suburbanite has a bar, a billiards and arcade area and a small cafe decked out with the names and dates of every bowler to nail a 300. As far as food and drinks go, it is a bowling alley, so there's not too much to report. Our first pitcher was on the stale side, so we choked it down and then made the switch to bottles. We recommend you do the same.
Shoe rentals are $3 and bowling is about $5 a game. Cosmic bowling (10 a.m.-1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday) also gives bowlers the option of paying $17 for unlimited play. Another great special is the 99-cent games on Monday.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins