Photos: Inside The Gloriously Restored Highland Park Bowl
The historic Highland Park Bowl has been beautifully restored and now offers a prime destination for bowling, craft cocktails and wood-fired pizzas.
The venue, built in 1927 and known in recent decades as beloved music venue Mr. T.'s Bowl, has been lovingly revived by the 1933 Group, known for other vintage hotspots like the barrel-shaped Idle Hour and Highland Park's La Cuevita. The restored space peels back the layers of time to reveal some of the venues most charming features with plenty of welcome additions, including eight refurbished bowling lanes, two horseshoe-shaped bars, and an open-air kitchen that turns out delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas. As you enter the venues grand hallway, you'll also encounter a separate room with another bar, which serves as dedicated music room aptly named Mr. T's Room in the original music store space. Plans for an on-site micro-brewery are also in the works.
Currently in soft-opening with only drinks available, Highland Park Bowl officially opens this Friday. LAist was invited to a media preview of the restored space, where we had a chance to bowl and sample some of the cocktails and pizzas. Some of the stand-out cocktails—which include handcrafted and draft options that rotate seasonally—were the The Dude Abides, a nod to The Big Lebowski's White Russian made with Tito’s vodka, housemade Civil Coffee liqueur, horchata cream, and a cinnamon tincture; as well as the Modern Washout ( a bowling term for a setup of pins), which includes Sino Reposado tequila, Ancho Reyes, pineapple gomme, raspberry puree, and lemon juice with raspberries and Tajin-dusted pineapple. For pizzas, we really enjoyed the Crudo e Arugula with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto crudo, and parmesan; and the Burrata with confit heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese and pesto.
The design features elements of the buildings original Spanish Revival aesthetic with the addition of cool flourishes like repurposed pinsetters converted into chandeliers and vintage lockers showcasing recovered bowling trophies, photos and more. The team also uncovered a massive mural of a forest from the 1930s behind the lanes—painted during the Highland Park-centered Arts & Crafts Movement—which was covered by drop ceilings and wall coverings for decades. They also left the Vintage Brunswick pin machines exposed, so you can see all the action, and hung vintage bowling banners along the sides of the lanes.
The bowling prices vary from $40 to $60 per hour for each lane, depending on the day and time, and can accommodate up to six people. So, grab a group and bowl, drink and eat to your heart's content.
Highland Park Bowl is located at located at 5621 N. Figueroa, Highland Park. Hours are Monday - Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. with the kitchen open 5:00 p.m. - midnight; Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m. with the kitchen open 10:00 a.m. - midnight.