Brooklyn Bowl, O2
If you’ve never seen it then you should YouTube the video to ‘Hungry Heart’ by Bruce Springsteen. Look at how much fun everyone is having. I bet you’re thinking ‘I’d love to experience something as fun as that’ aren’t you? Well, head down to the newly opened Brooklyn Bowl and you’ll be having more fun than ‘The Boss’ at a Flag Party on 4th July. Located inside the O2, past the 3 stages of tourist food hell (Garfunkels, Frankie and Benny’s and TGI Fridays) Brooklyn Bowl is all corrugated iron, distressed wooden floors and is lit to feel like 1am at all times. With access to the backstage of the main arena, live bands play most nights and the music is complimented by the roar of an energetic audience, which gives the venue a real buzz. Add to this the sound of pins being knocked down (weirdly satisfying), strangers smiling, cheering and high-fiving one another as they eat, drink and bowl and you can’t help but be caught up in the excitement.
Food comes courtesy of Americana-food experts ‘Blue Ribbon’ and is far superior from the usual O2 chains. Staples such as Pork Ribs, Po’Boys and Mac’n’Cheese all make an appearance and their fried chicken makes Colonel Sanders look like Colonel Klink, sitting perfectly in the middle of the moist/crispy Venn diagram. Order the Rock and Roll Fries as a side, smothered in gravy, Cajun spice, provolone and cheddar and make no apologies for stuffing your face. An extensive drinks menu ranges from American craft beers by the likes of Kelso Brewing Co. and Brooklyn Brewery to strong spirits in the form of Bourbons, Gins and Whiskey. The diet can resume tomorrow.
Bowling is ace. The feeling of hitting a strike (‘it wasn’t a fluke, what are you talking about!?’) followed by the lows of four gutter-balls in a row (‘the girl on the next lane is using my ball!’) makes for a great evening. Invite a couple of couples to join you to play a few games and you can sit on the leather Chesterfields at the end of each lane to share a fried chicken platter and down some pitchers of beer and margaritas. Keep an eye out for their gigs listings as the sound system is top quality and the view of the stage from the bowling lanes is much preferable to the mosh pit in front of the stage. Brooklyn Bowl brings a slice of New York hipster to North Greenwich Dome.
The O2 isn’t the best area so have a few drinks somewhere else prior to hitting the Jubilee Line.