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Bowling Alleys

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Apr. 9, 2010
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Bay View Bowl

2416 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

(414) 483-0950

You know what they say: You can’t spell “Wisconsin” without bowling (zing). Bay View Bowl on Kinnickinnic Avenue is Wisconsin at its finest. With plenty of lanes and a full bar, it’s a place where one can mix the pleasures of sports and drinking—or drinking as a sport. If you want that everybody-knows-your-name neighborhood feel, put on a pair of rentals, shine up that ball and head to Bay View Bowl. With cheap drinks and lots of lanes, the bowling alley essentials are covered. (Emilee Weier)

Holler House

2042 W. Lincoln Ave.

(414) 647-9284

Home of the two oldest continually operating lanes in the country, the Holler House has been owned by a member of the Skowronski family since its founding in 1908. Something you’re not likely to encounter anywhere else is the sight of “pin boys,” who manually reset the pins and roll the ball back to you by hand. To repeat, there are but two lanes, so your chances of being able to roll right away are slim. Enjoy an ice-cold bottled brew and admire the many bras on the wall while you wait. (Brian Muilenburg)

Koz’s Mini Bowl

2078 S. Seventh St.

(414) 383-0560

Those looking for some inexpensive and unusual entertainment would do well to explore Milwaukee’s near South Side, where Koz’s Mini Bowl sits unassumingly. The diminutive, antique mini-bowling lanes feature oversized balls and neighborhood youths who manually reset the pins after each roll. The bar sells Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap at cheap rates, so you’ll have change left over to leave the customary tip for the pinsetters. (B.M.)

Landmark Lanes

2220 N. Farwell Ave.

(414) 278-8770


Although time (and the occasional fire) have claimed many of the singular historic institutions that once defined the east North Avenue neighborhood, a few wonderful remnants remain. The cacophonous catacombs of Landmark Lanes have been an urban recreational mecca since 1927. With three separate bars, 16 lanes, air hockey, foosball and 10 pool tables, this subterranean mainstay has something to occupy just about everyone. Dartboards and a sizable video arcade round out your entertainment options. Daily specials further discount the already reasonable drink prices. (B.M.)

Polish Falcon

801 E. Clarke St.

(414) 264-0680

If you actually want to roll at the second-oldest bowling alley in Milwaukee, you’ll have to show up on Wednesday, which is the only night the lanes are open to the public. The lanes are usually closed altogether during the hot summer months, but a trip to this historic Riverwest stalwart is worthwhile any time of year. One of many Polish Falcon “Nests” nationwide, the establishment has two bars and a reception hall and is home to a broad spectrum of friendly customers. (B.M.)

Photo: Holler House | by Lindsey Abendschein


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