Since 1993, this landmark has served as a combination bowling alley and cabaret theatre!
The building that now houses Bryant Lake Bowl in Uptown has been a landmark of the neighborhood for nearly a century. It was initially constructed in 1926 as a Ford garage and was converted into a bowling alley. In 1959, it was bought by Minnesota Bowling Hall of Fame member Bill Drouches, who installed the automatic pinsetters that Bryant Lake Bowl still uses today. They can be seen in the viral drone video ‘Right Up Our Alley’ (more on this later).
In the years since, the Bryant Lake Bowl has been restored and the former video/pool hall was turned into the 90-seat cabaret theater that it is today in 1993. Currently, the theater hosts a variety of nightly shows ranging from comedy to drama to music. It’s become firmly established as a neighborhood haunt and a go-to spot for a drink, a game of bowling, or an evening show. The line “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” is spoken into the microphone each night at closing time by Roger Engmark, who has worked at Bryant Lake Bowl since the 1970’s.
In March 2021, the above drone video, entitled ‘Right Up Our Alley’ went viral on social media, garnering over 5 million likes on Twitter and 2 million likes on YouTube. The one-shot drone video, created by director Anthony Jaska and drone operator Jay Christensen, was part of a project to document treasured Minnesota businesses that were suffering due to the pandemic. The video was noticed by Hollywood directors including James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy and Lee Unkrich of Coco. Quite the spotlight for a neighborhood bowling spot!
Today, The Bryant Lake Bowl continues to offer bowling, dining, and drinks in their historic setting. They have both to-go and dine-in food options, retaining their commitment to using local ingredients. On Mondays, Cheap Date Night offers diners two entrees, a bottle of wine or “a few beers,” and one round of bowling for $28.
Find it at 810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408.