Earlier this year, in March of 2021, Bryant Lake Bowl went viral due to a drone video (see above) that was one long continuous take! It was viewed online millions of times and even got the attention of The New York Times and the BBC.

Well, I was recently in Minneapolis and I grew up in bowling alleys so I wanted to check this place out.

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Upon further research, this drone video isn't Bryant Lake Bowl's first brush with fame. It was also featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives as well as being in the 1996 movie, Beautiful Girls. Beautiful Girls had a huge ensemble cast made up of Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, Martha Plimpton, Rosie O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Michael Rappaport, Mira Sorvino, and Natalie Portman. Martha Plimpton's character works at the bowling alley in the movie.

Bryant Lake Bowl is more than a bowling alley! It is a full bar, restaurant, and theater!

When Guy Fieri visited for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, he tried the Smoked Trout and Beet Salad with Green Goddess Dressing. We sampled the nachos and the rosemary garlic potato wedges instead. Both were delicious!

Bryant Lake Bowl has made quite a name for itself. Pretty impressive for a joint that has been around since the 20s.

Bryant Lake Bowl's website states,

"The building that houses the BLB was built in 1926 when Lake Street was the edge of town. It was originally a Ford garage and serviced Model Ts at the time. It was converted to a bowling alley in 1936, and in 1959 was bought by Minnesota Bowling Hall of Famer Bill Drouches, who installed the automatic pinsetters that year--the ones we use today.

The BLB was restored as closely as possible to its original splendor, and the video/pool hall was turned into a 90-seat cabaret theater in 1993 by Kim Bartmann. Shows almost every day of the week and sometimes twice a night! Our shows cover a broad spectrum of interests: comedy, musical, drama, dance, music and more. The establishment quickly became both a busy neighborhood hang out as well as a destination for travelers and celebrations of all sorts.

In 2018 longtime employee Erica Gilbert purchased the restaurant. Although 26 years old, BLB maintains its reigning champion status as a humble neighborhood hotspot. We continue to use sustainable and local ingredients."

I loved the old-school vibe of the bowling alley. It reminded me of the bowling alley I grew up in, in Sergeant Bluff, IA before it closed. It was only six lanes and was just cozy and quaint. You could talk with your friend on lane one even if you were on lane six.

Bryant Lake Bowl is probably only the second or third alley I've bowled at with an above-ground ball return. Always a fun surprise!

 

Bryant Lake Bowl

 

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