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Kings Bowl in Lincoln Park’s New City Opening Review – Food, Drinks, Scene—Oh, And Bowling Too

By Amy Munice with Photos by Peter Kachergis

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That's Richard Nixon bowling! - a mural on one side of the lanes


We quickly found 400 reasons to love Kings Bowl... 


Four lanes to the side with nearby gaming tables are set up for semi-private parties


First, there were the 250 people lining up to win a year of free bowling.   These were REAL Chicagoans who just loved this new type promotion that Kings Bowl was first trying in this, their 8th location opening.


High heeled bowling shoes


As enthusiastic as the outside queue was, it was the electricity of the jazzed Kings Bowl staff that won us over.  


Brian was taking a break from bar tending to show off two of his favorite menu items- the grilled cheese and ribs-- and also a variety of beers


Everyone we talked to from the ranks of the 150 Chicagoans who will now have jobs at Kings Bowl-- most with megawatt smiles – were clearly psyched about what Kings has to offer and being part of it. 



As you walk in to King's Bowl you enter Max & Leo's, an artisan pizza restaurant


The coal-fired pizza oven cooks pizza, wings and more in just minutes


Executive Chef Oscar had arrived from other Max & Leo locations to train the staff


Whether they were sharing how much they too loved the signature pizza of Max & Leo’s (L’Umina, an olive oil-based pizza with sliced roasted pears, carmelized onions, basil and ricotta cheese topped with prosciutto and a drizzle of organic wildflower honey),


L'Umina -- olive oi based pizza with sliced roasted pears, caramelized onions, basil and ricotta cheese topped with prosciutto and a drizzle of organic wildflower honey


or the coal fire pizza oven that cooks a pizza in minutes, or the longest bar in the city


Pop-out sections on this longest bar in Chicagoland make good nooks for small parties who want to hang out at the bar


(222 linear feet, including the count of the more intimate pop-out sections for small parties),


Nearly all the cocktails we sampled were super-sweet and colorful


or the brightly colored cocktails,


This is NOT your typical bowling alley food. These maple glazed sea scallops were served with garlic mashed potatoes and glazed baby carrots


or the range on the menu (from quinoa for the health conscious to hamburgers with bacon, sriracha, pineapple and peanut butter aptly named “Don’t Knock It ‘Til Ya Try It”, and much in between),


Cucumber and feta rolls, are examples of the healthier fare on the menu


these were all people who just seemed to love where they worked and how cool the Kings offering is for its clientele. 


Kings' Event Coordinator Stephanie Axelson (left) says you can call her and book a tour of the inside workings of the bowling alley, which she highly recommends. Amber (right) was enthusiastic about King's famous steak tips but even more excited by the "Don't Knock it 'til Ya Try It' burger (with crunchy peanut butter, bacon, grilled pineapple and sriracha)


This is genuine enthusiasm and you feel it.


Bright red decor makes the entranceway of the bowling alley cheerful and retro


Beyond the smiling faces, taking a tour before the crowds arrive also gave an opportunity to relish the many attentions to detail that suggest Kings will be quite a fun place. 


There really is a Max and Leo-- twin brothers, who opened the original location in 2011 near Boston


As you walk from the Max & Leo’s Pizza Restaurant in front you then go into a retro feel world.  


Max & Leo's serves signature cocktails, as does the full-service restaurant in the bowling alley proper


Bourbon being infused in preparation for a Max & Leo cocktail


Celebrity pictures welcome you—including a timely one of Hillary Clinton.  If that doesn’t make you smile perhaps the mural of Richard Nixon bowling will.   Yes, there’s something for everyone—even gluten-free pizza dough. 


Hours of Operation:  Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to midnight; Fridays and Saturdays form 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.


For more information visit the Kings Bowl website.








Published on Nov 05, 2015

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