It’s a simple idea: OTR could really use a space that doubles as a bowling alley and live music venue. Several friends agreed and suggested a few possible OTR locations that could accommodate bowling lanes and a place for performances:
Across the street from Greg’s Antiques is MOTR Pub – a preeminent destination for live music which follows the motto: “Know your Cincinnati rock ‘n roll.” MOTR has been open on Main Street since May, 2010.
Another location that was mentioned was the site of the old Sycamore Gardens club that is located across E. 12th Street from Joe’s Diner on Sycamore Street. This location shares an alleyway with Japp’s.
One area of Over-the-Rhine that has often been on my mind recently is the northernmost section of the streetcar’s first phase.
Intersection of Elm and Henry Streets, adjacent to the future streetcar maintenance facility:
Intersection of Elm and McMicken:
The sprawling one story warehouses found in the northern reaches of OTR seem perfect for a bowling alley.
A bowling alley, live music venue and gastropub is exactly what Peter Shapiro (see his interview with Gothamist here and New York Daily News here) had in mind when he opened Brooklyn Bowl in a large warehouse in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The venue is a 16 lane bowling alley, 600 capacity rock club, and restaurant with award-winning food all wrapped into one.
This video is a great intro to the Brooklyn Bowl:
Brooklyn Bowl street view:
Corner view of Brooklyn Bowl:
Brooklyn Bowl is 21+ except from noon to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
A special venue like this in OTR would be a great way to introduce OTR to people less likely to be familiar with the neighborhood’s transformation (ie suburban parents with children). Bowling alleys used to dot Cincinnati’s and America’s neighborhoods (including one at McMillan and Ravine). Now, the closest bowling alleys to downtown are across the river in Newport or in Norwood. Bowling is an innately social sport that appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. One cannot tout the virtues of bowling without mentioning Robert Putnam’s groundbreaking book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Plus, it’s a barrel of fun. So, who wants to go bowling in OTR?