The folks at Lucky Strike Lanes are aiming to change bowling's reputation as a pastime enjoyed only by the Homer Simpsons of the world. At the Hollywood-based chain's new location (701 Seventh St. NW, 202-347-1021, www.bowlluckystrike.com), the lights are dim, the couches are retro, and the cocktails and grub are far more trendy than soggy pizza and pitchers fare.
The 21,000-square-foot space officially opened Thursday. It's nestled inside Gallery Place's entertainment complex, which, with its glittery multiplex and cluster of bars and chain stores, feels like a Disneyland for slightly inebriated adults. Bowling ostensibly is Lucky Strike's raison d'etre, and plenty of fresh-from-work professionals will no doubt queue up for the venue's 14 lanes. But at a preview Wednesday, upscale comfort foods (mini mac-and-cheese croquette, anyone?), sipping fancy cocktails and mingling at the sprawling lounge and bar area seemed to overshadow the main attraction. Another sign that the company is targeting the rich and hip: lane rentals are as much as $75 an hour, a price that would have Homer himself saying, "D'oh!" Luckily a single game runs as little as $4.95.