Things To Do

L.A.’s Oldest Bowling Alley Is So Pretty It Hurts • Highland Park Bowl

By Guy Parsons

Highland Park Bowl

Strike it lucky at the gorgeous Highland Park Bowl.

Proving that oldies really can be goodies, this 80-year-old bowling alley is a real retro treat. Founded back in 1927 as a Prohibition-dodging party palace, it was lovingly restored in 2014 with many of the original features gleaming and intact.

Highland Park Bowl Photo Alley
Photo: Wonho Frank Lee

The venue offers eight lanes of old-school bowling action, with sumptuous leather sofas for competitors to relax on in-between strikes, spares and straight-to-the-gutter misfires. The pin-setting machinery has been left exposed, offering nerdy revelations for anyone who’s ever wondered exactly how it works. So satisfying!

For post-game refreshment, the venue offers a laidback Italian-ish menu with plenty of pizzas, meatballs, calamari fritti and chicken Milanese, among other dishes. 11 punchy cocktails (try the Magic Carpet) are available, along with draught beers and – what bowling alley would be without ’em? – a rotating selection of slushees.

Highland Park Bowl Bar
Photo: @izzoimages

Open until 2am every single night, HPB is a natural party spot, too – bands, DJs and other entertainments raise the vaulted roof most nights. There’s karaoke every Sunday, an open-mic night on Tuesdays, and regular punk/burlesque show NIGHT SCENE, mixed-in with one-off gigs from local bands and touring outfits.

Highland Park Bowl Concerts
Photo: @danieljsliwa_photo

It’s guaranteed to bowl you over. Good luck out there!

Location: 5621 North Figueroa Street, 90042. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: seven days a week; 5pm–2am, Mon–Fri; 11am–2am, Sat-Sun.
Price: lane hire is $25–$70/hour depending on day and time (Saturday before 4pm is by far the cheapest); beer from $7, cocktails from $10, pizzas from $13.
More information: on their website.