Bowl in the Fast Lane at Lucky Strike in Washington, DC

January 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, US – There are some things that retain their charms forever. There are some, on the other hand, that lose a certain amount of magnetism as they—or we—age. Sweet and innocent in a 1950s or high-school-date kind of way, bowling may be one item we’d gently prescribe to the latter category. The activity, to be sure, can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a little less eventful than the thrilling nights-on-the-town that we’re used to. And as we use our free time more for heels and cocktail dresses than socks and sneakers, and cruising and schmoozing than taking it easy, the typical bowling alley is not a typical fixture of our adult lives.

But part of adulthood means making exceptions where merited, and Washington, DC‘s Lucky Strike is a special case. In fact, this hip, neon-bathed stop is not even close to the predictable ball-and-pins joints of our youth. One in a chain of not-your-hometown’s bowling alleys, the hangout is packed with cool embellishments, from projection screens to pop art to pool tables (there are three). And not only does it defy expectations, but it actually verges more on the typical grown-up night-out terrain we enjoy on a Friday or Saturday night. In place of a background soundtrack of cheesy tunes is a blasting sound system, and pizza and pop give way to mac & cheese bites and cocktails from the 50-foot bar. (Pizza-lover grown-ups can get their fix from a menu of flatbread options.) And there’s a dance floor that’s perfect for the 21+ age limit after 8:00pm.

Given its standout status, it should be of little surprise that this clubby setting has grown into a bit of a social club to boot. There are parties on the regular here, like the masqueradey kickoff for DC’s CÎROC Week and a Casino Night for New Year’s Eve. Every Sunday is “Salsa Sunday,” a Latin party with free lessons in the Cuban dance form. But on off nights, this place is still alive and abuzz. DJs frequently spin tunes, groups of girlfriends take to the dance floor, and just-left-the-office business types convene here for a round of beers. This joint is always a party, and any big kids can participate.

All you have to do is get the ball rolling.

Read more about Lucky Strike in our Washington, DC Guide.

Lucky Strike
701 7th St., NW
Washington, DC

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