|ALL PHOTOS BY KHA|
As you enter the dark room, you will see twinkling lights. You will also hear loud pop songs that make you feel as though you were at a club dance party. Every part of the room shines from the neon lights. Can you guess what this place is? It isn’t a party room or a club. It’s a bowling pub! Here you can bowl a game or two while enjoying a pint or two of beer to the music. The SMT reporter, Kim Hyuna, recently visited Smashing Bowl, a popular bowling pub to learn more about it.
Bowling + Pub
Bowling is a leisure sport enjoyed by people of all ages since it is relatively less demanding and strenuous than most other sports. Also, it is easy to learn since disregarding professional techniques, people merely roll a ball down the lane to knock over the pins at the end. Nowadays, bowling pubs have become popular young people hangouts. Bowling alleys have renovated their interiors and added a modern flare to their marketing strategies. Whereas in the past, bowling alleys tended to be painted dreary white, were void of music and other sounds besides the sound of balls hitting the pins, and all that was available for patrons were items of purchase from vending machines, bowling alleys of today are breathtaking.
At a bowling pub, though the main ceiling lights remain off, laser lights shoot across the room to light up the pub. Almost everything inside the pub glows in the dark as well. Moreover, loud and exciting pop songs are played so as to increase the adrenaline of patrons and their level of enjoyment. The only requirement is that customers must order at least one alcoholic beverage while inside the bowling pub. The types of drinks available are various, and it’s interesting that customers may drink while they bowl. With increasing the number of bowling pubs nowadays, Kim visited ‘Smashing Bowl’ at Sinnonhyeon Station to experience firsthand the pleasure of bowling at a pub. Smashing Bowl is located directly in front of Sinnonhyeon Station, exit 5. The price per game is 5,500 won and the cost of borrowing a pair of bowling shoes is 2,500 won. Drinks range in price from 9,000 to 16,000 won.
Strike the Pins
Arriving at Smashing Bowl, a little after 6 p.m., Kim was surprised to find the pub was already in full club mode with its laser lights flashing all about. Despite concern that she might have to wait in a queue, she was able to bowl immediately after arriving since she’d gotten to the pub before peak hours. Kim requested 2 games, but the manager said that customers could only get a lane for 1 game at a time. The manger explained that there was a chance other patrons could arrive, so it wouldn’t be fair for just one person to control the entire lane. The pub needed to give everyone a chance to enjoy their facilities. The manager also went on to add that upon completing her game, if there was no one waiting to play next, she was free to request the lane for another game. Satisfied with the explanation, Kim accepted the 1-game policy and got ready to bowl. The manager presented her with a drink list that detailed all beverages available from the bar. She ordered a non-alcoholic beverage while her companions ordered a beer and a cocktail.
With drink in hand, Kim set off for the lane. It’d had been 6 months since she’d been bowling, so she suffered greatly with most of her balls going down the gutter. Luckily, her friends also fell into this same fate, so frame scores were on average 4 or 5 points. Final scores for the game were quite lower than expected, so noticing no one was waiting to bowl, Kim requested a second game. The second game turned out much better. Kim and her companions started to get more comfortable and bowled great games. On average, they were able to score 8 or 9 points per frame, and Kim was fortunate enough to even get a strike and a spare as well. Throughout the games, exciting music was continuously played, so everyone got electrified and bowled with more energy.
The pub also ran a number of daily events for customers. Among them was one game in which one of the 10 pins was coloured red. Whenever the red pin got placed in the center of the pins and the bowler got a strike, person was awarded a free game of bowling for 2 people on their next visit. Also, if a person was able to successfully roll a ‘Turkey’, which is 3 strikes in a row, the person could receive a coupon for 1 free game at a later date. These and other events raised everyone’s spirits and made the game even more fun for the bowlers. Kim recommends doing some prior investigation before going to the pub to learn more about all the events available to customers so that maximum enjoyment is sure to be had.
Going Home Excitedly
SMT reporter and her companions for the adventure enjoyed a great day of fun; however, the day’s fun was not without its drawbacks. The bowling pub is a bit pricy. Cost for the 3 friends after the 2 games was 25,500 won: shoes, drinks, and games. Also, be careful not to forget to bring socks. You will be required to purchases socks from the pub in order to play if you do not have any. Next, go earlier than later. Upon completion of the second game, a queue had started to form for people waiting to play. The good thing is that the pub provides its customers with a waiting lounge that is spacious so the wait is not tiring. Despite these issues, SMT reporter had a fabulous time and expects to visit the bowling pub again in the near future.
Kim Kim Hyuna firstname.lastname@example.org