Breaktime Bowl and Bar
Hope Artist Village is an old industrial building, so we guess it shouldn’t surprise us that some of what used to be inside remains intact, too. What does surprise us? What’s inside, well-preserved on the top floor, are 1920s duckpin bowling lanes – and they’re still in operation.
The bowling alley is the oldest continuously operating duckpin bowling alley in the Northeast, and is one of the last – if not the very last – surviving industrial recreation duckpin bowling alleys in the country. It was built in the 1920s by Hope Webbing Company in an effort to prevent its employees from unionizing, something they did anyway, likely in the 1930s. Even after unionization, however, the owners kept it going, and when Urban Smart Growth (who now owns the building, largely thanks to how cool they thought the bowling alley was) took over, they preserved the alley in such a way that people today can enjoy the exact same recreation as their great, great grandfathers, complete with live setters (not machines) resetting the pins.
As the name suggests, the bowling alley has a nice bar on the side, where you can get cooler beer and better food than any modern alley we’ve been to. Be warned, however: there are only a few lanes, so it’s a must to reserve ahead of time on the website. By the way, unlike most bowling alleys, you can wear any kind of shoes.
Business hours are 4 pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 1 am on Friday, noon to 1 am on Saturday, and noon to 7 pm on Sunday. Closed Monday.