Lane7 Launch Night
When you think of bowling, you think of screaming kids, rubbery food, disco fever lighting and the ball you need is never available.
For years growing up ten pin bowling was always a great day out but when you become older you tend to forget it and only go when your kids want to go. So imagine mixing ten pin bowling with good food and good drink, what do you have? Lane7.
Lane7 is Newcastle’s newest and only boutique ten pin bowling alley where you can indulge in a 10 hour braised beef rib or a Piri Piri spatchcock chicken before bowling strikes for fun. In fact what surprised me about Lane7 is that there is more to it than just bowling. Upstairs has another 4 alleys, ping pong, pool tables, a karaoke booth plus another bar.
The food menu is pretty good too; there has been a lot of work put in behind the scenes on both the menu and bringing Chris Finnigan back home to become head chef. It has an American twist on it which you would expect, we had the House smoked pork ribs (£15.00) and a big apple hot dog with caramelised onions (£9.50) the “huge pole” sausages are actually imported from London.
Lane7 claim the restaurant to be “dribble-down-the-chin, sauce-on-your-shirt style dining” and they are right. Your meal is served on a tray so you can get stuck in without worrying about dripping your sauces all over the table, not too sure about the chips coming in a half pint “rovers return” type glass, but that’s just my preference.
The drinks menu also has a lot going for it, Draughts come in half pints, pints and 3.5 pint growlers, which are cheaper if there is a few of you or you like your jugs. Bottled beers, ciders, Alco pops, spirits and milkshakes all compliment the menu and I will have to return to try the Coco Fudge milkshake (£3.50), cocktails are called Hard Shakes in this place.
After dinner it was time to get our shoes on and hit the lanes. The set up is great, you can stand and have a few drinks around a table whilst waiting for your turn, none of this waiting on plastic chairs and having to input your own name (which takes 20 minutes) it’s already done for you. The whole experience was great and I loved the fact that you could drink, bowl and have a laugh, all of the lanes were working and the whole place had a really good vibe about it.
I don’t have any criticisms about Lane7 at all; I just hope that Newcastle was the right location for a boutique bowling alley. We lack a flurry of entrepreneurs willing to take the plunge and do different and I think the owner Tim Wilks has done a superb job in getting it open and hope it lasts for many years.
Whether or not the wider audience will take to it is another question but I don’t see why not. The prices are on the high side but you have to expect that, you kind of need to do the whole experience though, bite to eat, bowling and a few drinks. I don’t know how many people would rock up to have a pint and game of bowling before going out on the town because in peak times that would set you back £10.50.
Location shouldn’t put you off but parking is limited around the site, however there are plenty of car parking spaces in the centre for life car park or the multi storey on St James’ Boulevard.
It’s quirky, fun and totally different and I’d encourage everyone to book up and give it a go, treat yourself for a birthday or Christmas and see what all the fuss is about.
I enjoyed the bowling so much that I think we need to set up a bowling league in Newcastle, who’s in?