That’s what you’re thinking when you get the bill for an hour’s worth of bowling with lunch and a much-needed liquid relaxant at Williamburg’s loud and stylish Brooklyn Bowl.
A family bowl-o-rama slash restaurant by weekend-day and a hip, youthful music venue by night, this cavernous North Brooklyn hangout has quickly established itself as one of the WB’s hotter nightspots to emerge in the last couple years.
But our purpose here is to evaluate this bustling trend-hole in its less heralded family setting. And, despite the (enjoyably) pulsating lights and swaggering demeanor, I must in conclusion withhold the ultimate SDD stamp of approval due to one factor and one factor only.
I mean, come on…
One hour of bowling, three shoe rentals, a standard pint, a (good not great) burger, one French bread pizza, a couple Sprites and a chocolate milkshake… Even in New York City 2011 this should NOT exceed $100. But exceed it did. In fact, with tip it was a gob-smacking $122!
To be fair, the place is great fun and getting the chomps brought up to your lane while the band sound-checks before roaring into action is a hoot, but again… $122?!
Each half hour of bowling is $20. Shoe rental is $4 a pop. The kid meals are each a reasonable $8.95. So what went wrong? Well, the milkshake is a preposterous $8. (NOT worth it, truly.) And any reasonable amount of bowling takes at least an hour so with shoe rental you’re lookin’ at $52 minimum for you and two kidaroos.
Factor in an essential $6 pint and a couple of $3 soft drinks and before you know it you’ve slayed a Benji. The money’s not the end-all, be-all, yes, still I can’t help but get that slight “I’ve been duped” taste in the mouth as I leave. Maybe it’s because I’m such a big Woody Allen fan? (Read: Frugal jew.)
Well, if you’re working on Wall Street or a late in life Trustafarian not bothered by this type of thing, than by all means get on over to the Brooklyn Bowl. You will indeed have a splendid time, as did I until the bill arrived (and despite the bill, it must be said.) But if you’re more interested in a moolah for value type deal and want to knock down some pins without knocking some digits off your checking account balance, wait for my forthcoming evaluation of some slightly more fam-friendly bowling alleys in the NYC area.
Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: A reluctant but unequivocal NAY.
Details: Lanes are BUSY on Sundays and at all times really. Put your name down at the desk to the right as you enter immediately and be prepared to wait at least 20-30 minutes, quite possibly more. The staff calls your cell phone when your lane is ready. You can also sit down for lunch while you wait for a spot to open up (or just play some pick-up soccer out on the sidewalk as our crew did.) Parking is easy to find on the weekends or it’s just a scintillating 12-14 minute walk from the Bedford L stop.