Bowling is officially #hot again, thanks to KINGS Bowl Orlando on International Drive. Officially opening on April 15th, we had the pleasure of attending their media preview recently to check out all it had to offer*. Here’s what we thought.
From the moment you step into the building, you’ll notice you’re walking in to something special. Bathed in a palette of neon blues, reds, whites, yellows and virtually every other color of the rainbow, KINGS’ retro vibe from bowling’s heyday of the 1950′s and 60′s is reinvigorated with a modern, hip twist.
Countertops sparkle, chandeliers pop and gutters electrify the alleyways as glowing balls spin down. 150 speakers provide a backing track to 22 polished wood lanes and 60 HDTVs. Gone are the days of plastic tables, plastic chairs, plastic cups for your beer and sticky, bowling alley floors.
If bowling is your thing, you’ll feel right at home with spacious couches by the alleys. And even if it’s not, you’ll still find your night out time well spent from the bar perched over the lanes, offering the perfect vantage point for gawkers. And that’s where KINGS really stands out amongst bowling alleys, it’s as much a bar and restaurant as a bowling alley. And being 21+ after 6 P.M., it’s Orlando’s, newest, adult playground.
Food & Drink
For a bowling alley, drinks and food are top-notch (of course, the standards aren’t that high to begin with – who’s ever gone to a bowling alley for dinner?). But with an executive-chef inspired menu, the quality of the food and drinks are reason enough to make a trip down I-Drive.
Standouts include the Buffalo Wontons, steak tips and their burger selection.
Kings Big Balls are gargantuan-sized cocktails that radiate with deliciousness. Flavors like the raspberry lime rickey and fish bowl will make you question why you’re encouraged to share them. And the Fizzy Lifting Drink is something you have to see to believe. It smokes!
Oh and did we mention the table taps? Select booths include built-in taps right underneath the table for you to pour your own beer.
Admittedly, we didn’t bowl while we were at the bowling alley. But that’s the magic of KINGS. It’s a destination beyond bowling. The “King’s Room” offers a bookable VIP experience complete with four of your own, private, sound-proof lanes, a privacy curtain and extended counter to serve all your food and drinks. For an additional fee, you can rent out the patio with your own, personal bocce court.
Sandwiches and burgers vary between $10-$14, while larger entrees average around $14-$16 (with a few topping $20). Drinks average $9 a piece with the Big Ball stays true to it’s name at $26. Prices for bowling were unavailable at press time. Prices are higher than your neighborhood alley, and with good reason. You’re paying for quality. If you want a place just to bowl, KINGS isn’t it. But if you’re looking a for a new, fun spot (no, not that fun spot) to wind down with friends, celebrate a special occasion, or just get you out of the house to do something different, KINGS won’t disappoint.
Free parking, unique drinks, high-quality food and an atmosphere that’s perfect whether you’re aiming for a 300 or wishing for the gutter guards make KINGS Bowl a must-do in Orlando.
And if you need any other reason to check out KINGS right now, the bowling shoes are still new and haven’t been worn by the masses!
As a child, I was an award-winning bowler. I wasn’t athetic enough to play baseball and my three-point shooting form was abismal while playing basketball, but I somehow found some winning skills picking a 6-10 spare. I will always have a special place in my heart for bowling alleys and KINGS just found a new place in my heart.
Food & Drink
As mentioned before, I was not athletic enough to play high endurance sports, but I sure did enjoy my bowling alley french fries. Bowling food can always be hit or miss, but the KINGS menu is something not to miss.
Not only do they have the normal comforts of a bowling alley [burgers, pizza], but they also have a twist on those comforts [sesame ginger wings, buffalo wontons] that really elevate the menu. But it’s the entrees that will have me going back for more. The menu features a few seafood dishes, baby back ribs and most delicious of all, their famous steak tips.
As for the cocktails, you have to give credit for originality, notably the fizzy lifting drink. Who doesn’t want to drink a grape flavored bubbling and smoking cocktail?
Vintage meets modern. I abosultely love that retro-1960s look that has become modern again and that’s what KINGS has, but with all the modern design astethics. There is a lot of energy around the lanes, but the thing that struck me the most was how separate the tables in the front are [booths that even feature their own bar tap at the table]. It’s may be a bowling alley, but the menu and the dining rooms are enough for me to stop by just to eat.
With the talk about outdoor dining that will face the future site of I Live Drive, I would not be surprised to see a long wait list for the dining room, making it one of the more unique dining locations in town.
Neon, bright and full of energy! If you’re a competitive bowler looking to nail the 7-10 split, this may not be the right place for you. If you’re looking to have fun and are OK getting a gutter ball, this is right up your alley [see what I did there?], but two words set this place apart from other alleys in Orlando – private room. I totally know where I’m going to have my next birthday party.
Middle of the alley [tired of the puns yet?]. The food and drinks are resonably priced but if you’re looking to really experience KINGS, you’re going to want to try a few of their cocktails. For the high rollers who want to feel a little more exclusive, book the private bowling lanes with the bocce ball court.
There is no denying the energy and fun you’ll have at KINGS but I also have to tip my hat to the amazing staff. They were friendly, engaging, funny and honest and that’s what I look for anywhere I go. Service can truly elevate a great experience to an amazing time and that’s what the staff did.
Traveling to I Drive is always such a process when you’re a downtown resident but KINGS just gave me another reason to sit in traffic and dodge the I Drive trolley.
For More Reviews
While we were there, we spotted some of our favorite, local bloggers. Check out their reviews of KINGS Orlando here:
Central Florida Top 5 – KINGS Bowl Orlando Media Preview
Who Said Nothing in Life is Free – KINGS Bowl Orlando Opens April 15, 2013 – Not Your Typical Bowling Alley
On the Go in MCO – KINGS Bowl Orlando Opening Today
Orlando Informer – KINGS Bowl Orlando: I-Drive has a new spot for drinking, dining and bowling in style
Watch Me Eat – Kings Bowl in orlando, FL
Zannaland - Kings Bowl Rolls Into Orlando With Flair, Food, and Fun!
Let us know what you think of KINGS Bowl Orlando. Give us your own review in the comments!
*Sure KINGS provided us with an invitation to their media event, but the glowing opinions you’ve read here in this post, our uniquely ours.