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.
The lanes were reopened in September after four months of remodeling. The alley closed its classic bowling alley bar, turning it into a game room and pro shop.
Manager Carl Gittings said the renovations have made the lanes more family-oriented.
“We wanted the place to be inviting,” Gittings said. “Where people could feel comfortable walking in to bowl or to get something to eat.”
The alley also revamped its restaurant menu, opting for an Italian theme.
The alley also holds cosmic bowling — glow-in-the-dark bowling, for the uninitiated — every Saturday night and hosts monthly tournaments.
Lucky Strike Lanes
701 Seventh St. NW
Distance From Capitol Hill:2.5 miles
With the closure of George Washington University’s Hippodrome Bowling Alley, Lucky Strike Lanes has become the only public alternative for D.C. bowlers.
Located in the Gallery Place/Chinatown area, Lucky Strike brands itself as an upscale destination where Washington socialites can come to “stay out of the gutter.”
The 14-lane alley opened in November 2005 and is one of 21 bowling venues the company has established around the country. Self-categorized as a “lane and lounge,” the alley is known more for its social events and as a rendezvous spot than as a bowling destination.
“It’s not for your serious bowler,” Marketing Manager Trey Comstock said. “It’s more of a social venue for people to have a shared experience.”
With sleek black couches and red silk lanterns hovering above each lane, the dimly lit alley is a hip fusion for the socially swanky.
The full-service kitchen offers a classic American menu while providing happy hour drink specials from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
At the end of a long workweek, those looking to break out their dancing shoes can turn to Lucky Strike’s dance floor and disc jockey Friday and Saturday nights, coupled with Sunday night salsa lessons.
“We are not your typical bowling alley,” General Manager Nelson Greene said. “And we appeal to a broad range of people.”
Politicians such as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have been seen frequenting the lanes.
“When [politicians] need a break, they come here to maybe stretch out their legs with family and friends, to get out of the rigor of their government jobs,” Greene said.
The alley has also become home for social leagues that target working professionals and Hill staffers.
Better Off Bowling brings almost 500 D.C. professionals to Lucky Strike Lanes every year. The league was created in 2007 and targets working adults looking to socialize through noncompetitive bowling teams.
“A lot of people just find their social circles start to shrink. This is a great way to meet a huge group of social people where the focus isn’t explicitly on dating or playing sports, but just having fun,” said Chris Mitchell, the league’s general manager.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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.