Holler House

Aug. 7, 2009
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The Holler House (2042 W. Lincoln Ave.) is a Milwaukee institution, worthy not only of an entry in any local version of Fodor but of mention in a guidebook to the United States. Established in 1908, the Holler House is said to be the longest running bowling alley in America. And it’s among the only places of its kind with only two lanes, made of old-fashioned wood, not composite sheets. Also, pin boys still run out to reset the bowling pins. And they do it faster than any machine.

Holler at 100 by Wisconsin documentary filmmaker Bob Leff recorded last year’s centennial at the venerable South Side bar-bowling alley. Remarkably, the Holler has been in the same family through the last century. Its current owner, Marcy Skowronski, has been there 55 years and younger generations of family are pitching in to help. She has interesting stories, including memories of Prohibition, when the bar passed itself off as a “soda parlor.”

Nowadays, the Holler House’s mostly young crowd gathers for evenings of high-fiving camaraderie around the intimacy of the dual bowling lanes. The old place still looks like lots of fun after all these years, even for the pin boys, who receive tips from the patrons.


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