Best Bowling Lanes - 2003
Readers' Choice: Tropicana Lanes
If it's not against your religion to give money to the Catholic Church, Epiphany Lanes is a dandy place to smoke, drink and bowl. Located in the recreation building behind Epiphany of Our Lord Church, Epiphany Lanes is one of two parish-owned bowling houses in the city. (Magdalen Lanes on Kingshighway is the other, but it's closed on Sundays.) The eight lanes at Epiphany are open seven days a week. There are a few nits to pick: Beer is available in cans only, but at two bucks apiece, the price is right. Also, though Epiphany didn't get automatic pinsetters until the 1990s, it now sports all the bells and whistles, including computerized scoring, which we consider blasphemy. But you can't beat the prices, or the convenience. Epiphany charges just $1.25 per game if you bowl before 6 p.m. ($2.25 thereafter). Most of the time lanes are readily available, but it's a good idea to call ahead just to make sure. Ask when they close, and the guy on the other end of the line may well say "around seven" -- the mark of a small, neighborhood place where operating hours can depend on how much business comes through the door. Save for the automatic scoring, Epiphany, which opened in 1950, is a house for the traditionalist, and rightfully proud that no one bowled a perfect game here until 2001. There are no televisions or jukeboxes to distract you. It's just for bowling, and bowling is all we need.