Play Local · Uncategorized

21 Days to Play – Bowling goes Retro at The Alley

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about making time to play, at local sports facilities, live music venues, indie movie theaters and fun places and spaces all around the Triangle.

The Alley

 If you’ve ever been part of a bowling league, you know some bowlers are pretty serious about their sport. Others, not so much. I definitely fall in the its-fun-to-play-and-bonus-points-if-I-actually-knock-over-a-few-pins category. That’s why The Alley is more my speed for bowling fun. 

For more than fifty years the 24 original hardwood lanes at The Alley have hosted their fair share of league bowlers as well as the more casual bowler among us. Once known as Western Lanes the bowling facility has been a fixture along Hillsborough Street, located directly across from NC State University. The atmosphere is a blend of the nostalgic (no computerized scoring – you’ve got to keep score on vintage paper cards) along side contemporary conveniences. Those modern additions, like multiple flat screen TVs to watch all of your favorite games, a separate bar and a full-service restaurant, lend a sports bar personality to the space. Perhaps those features are why ESPN recently shot a commercial at The Alley.


As I understand it, The Alley is a pretty popular place for an inexpensive and fun first date night. All day Monday there’s unlimited bowling, including shoe rental, for just $5. Open seven days a week with extra late hours (until 1am) on Friday and Saturdays, there’s plenty of opportunity to channel your inner “Dude”. But just leave the Pomeranian at home.

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