615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Cuisine: American casual
Cost range: 10.01-20.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar
More in this neighborhood: Channelside
Channelside's Splitsville is a 27,000-square-foot is a club that happens to have a few bowling lanes, 12 to be precise. Splitsville is all upscale razzle-dazzle, with great food and drinks to go with your strikes and spares. It has two bars, pool tables and a dining lounge. Arrive at 7:30 on a Saturday night and it can be a two-hour wait for a lane. Once you get that lane, the cost for four people to bowl two games and rent shoes: $60-plus. You won't stand out in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, but club gear is everywhere too. Girls in strappy high heels and drop-dead outfits travel in packs here. The liquor includes some high-end martinis and 64-ounce rum bowls. Expect to see a range of ages, from the over-40 crowd enjoying an evening out to the beautiful 20s working the scene at Channelside. But leave the kids at home on weekend nights. No one under 21 is admitted after 8 p.m. then. A dress code is enforced after 7 p.m. (check the website for details.) If you're set on bowling without a wait, come on a weekday afternoon.
The grub: Bowling alleys and clubs aren't known for their epicurean finesse, but this hybrid churns out amazing food and drinks. The barbecue chicken pizza is a piping hot, messy masterpiece. Where else can you say, "I'll take a size 8 shoe and the spicy edamame? The bars stock all your top-shelf faves. And here's the crazy part: Service is fast and attentive. Here, the cool kids order the "big bowl," a mixed drink served in a 64-ounce glass, and share it with multiple straws — which reminds us: bring a few dollar bills to tip the restroom attendant.
Prices: Everyone likes to gripe about how expensive Splitsville is, but the bowling itself is pretty reasonable. Thursday it's $3.50 plus shoes ($3) per person per game. Friday and Saturday after 6 p.m. it's $10.25 per person per game, including shoes. For a higher rate, you can call to reserve a lane that'll be ready when you walk in the door. Remember parking money, too. Reservations are accepted.