Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl
Bowling @ Brooklyn Bowl

Bowling @ Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl

Bowling, Brews and Concerts, Too!

My wife, Beth and I are avid concert goers.  We try to catch several shows in NYC each year.  Some are at Madison Square Garden – but we really love checking out the smaller venues in the city.  We started hearing about Brooklyn Bowl shortly after it opened in 2009.  It immediately began attracting bands that were touring through the NYC area as well as hosting frequent jam sessions with NYCs many great local musicians.  We finally got it together in June 2010 and got tickets to see the New Orleans funk band Galactic.  We’ve been back a few times since, most recently to see a group of local musicians that get together occasionally and jam some Led Zeppelin tunes.  They call themselves Bustle in your Hedgerow.

Although Brooklyn Bowl is a relatively small venue in terms of the number of people it can hold, about 600, it is not a small place.  In addition to the stage and area for the crowd (there are no seats – just a large open area in front of the stage), there is a great restaurant and, of course, a bowling alley.  The restaurant is run by the same folks that own the Blue Ribbon restaurants elsewhere in the city.  It’s all comfort food with a few New Orleans specialties thrown in.  We’ve eaten there a couple times and it does not disappoint.  The BBQ is excellent.

Racks of Dolls @ Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl

When you come into Brooklyn Bowl, the first thing you notice is a tall rack of the fuzzy carnival punk dolls.  Nobody is trying to knock them down to win prizes – but they signaled to me that something fun was happening here.  Follow around to the left and you come to the main bar at the back of the performance space.  This is probably one of my favorite bars in NYC because they feature every beer the Brooklyn Brewery has to offer.  This makes sense because the brewery is right next door to the venue.  Brooklyn makes many great beers so you can’t go wrong (that is, unless you don’t like Brooklyn beer – Sorry Dave – no Labatt Blue).    If you’re not up for beer – they have plenty of wines and a fully stocked bar.  They carry Brooklyn Brewery perennial favorites: Brooklyn Blast, Brooklyn Pennant Ale (of course!) and Brooklyn Lager then we switch over to a few of the seasonal brews: Brooklyn Monster Ale, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Brooklyn Summer Ale. And don’t forget the Oktoberfest.

On our most recent trip for the Bustle show, the vibe was, as it always is, relaxed and fun.  It’s not only fun for the people in the audience, but the band members always seem to be having a great time too – occasionally wandering out into the crowd.  Many bands will book multiple shows in a row when they play at Brooklyn Bowl.    Beth and I tucked ourselves into a corner by the railing that separates the bowling lanes from the floor in front of the stage.  In front of us was the stage, to the right was the bowling lanes –up a few steps from the floor.  At the end of each lane were large TV screens with coordinated pictures – mostly nature video on this night.  And to our left, everybody was dancing and smiling.  If you want to walk up close to the stage – no problem.  While I can’t say this is true for all the bands that play here, the people that come are not elbowing their way to the front – or blocking others that want to get around.  Everybody just moves around and dances as much as they like.  As the night continued on, the band seemed to get better.  They played much longer than we had expected because there was a whole other event going on after this show.  It was past midnight when we left.  Brooklyn Bowl is a place that truly goes all night long.

Another great night for us – and as we leave we promise ourselves to come back soon.  It almost doesn’t matter who the band is or what beer you drink, they’ve got it all.  You should check it out!

61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY             718-963-3369

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