Lucky Strike Lanes at Gallery Place with a full-service kitchen, lounge and dance floor is the only public alley available for bowlers in Washington, D.C.
If the White House bowling alley were a person, it would now qualify for full Social Security benefits.
Opened 65 years ago today, the Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley was constructed in the basement of the White House’s West Wing and then moved to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1955.
While more than 1,000 visitors frequent the lanes each year, bowling buffs should not expect to waltz right in.
And that tends to be true of the entire Washington, D.C., bowling scene.
If you’re looking to relieve stress by knocking over some pins and throwing back a few beers, you’ll be hard pressed to find relief in the District.
While there are several bowling establishments in suburban Maryland and Virginia, the District sports only three working alleys — two of which are not open to the general public.
For Capitol keglers, here is a quick rundown of Washington’s local lanes.
Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Distance from Capitol Hill: 3.5 miles
The infamous White House bowling lanes are well-known among D.C. political types, but getting a lane on the presidential alley is not easy.
Bowlers must be invited by White House staff. After a Secret Service background check, bowlers must pass through several security checkpoints and an underground basement.
With its own selection of balls and shoes, pin patrons can enjoy a personal flat-screen television and mini-fridge for beverages. Bowlers accustomed to automatic scoring will need to brush up on their math: The White House alley requires you to keep score the old-fashioned way.
Bolling Air Force Base
315 McChord St. SW
Distance From Capitol Hill:4.4 miles
For serious bowlers seeking to satisfy their pin pallet, D.C.’s Potomac Lanes is the best bet. Located at Bolling Air Force Base, the 30-lane alley is typically reserved for active or retired military personnel and their dependents.
While civilian bowlers are welcome to join one or more of the daily bowling leagues, they must first express interest to the alley manager and complete a clearance form at the base’s visitor center.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.