There's a bar in Lakewood that doesn't bowl for compliments with flashiness and gimics. I've struck this bar more than any other in Lakewood. But it's been a while since I've been there and have been pinning for it. I couldn't spare another week. So this weekend after the Spooky Pooch Parade we went to bar #16, Madison Square Lanes! True, Madison Square Lanes doesn't have a tap. For every rule an exception must be made, and there is something exceptional about Madison Lanes. The bowling alley offers a bar, snack bar, bowling (of course,) pool, and a random assortment of arcade games. What pulls all this together is Mike the owner. He is always willing to help out and remembers the people that come in. Your beer options cover both your normal options in canned form and a number of Great Lakes Brewery beers in bottles. This is the first place I had the hipster iconic beer, PBR. Since then, I have probably drank more PBR then any other beer. The funny thing about PBR is that it's not very good, it's like a alcoholic water with a hint of beer. They do have a variety of smacks you can order to be made from the bar. More importantly, they have Sam's Smokies! The best generic meat product in a plastic jar that money can buy.
I used a specific red ball back when I used to bowl more often. It was the perfect weight and the holes were exactly where I wanted them. This ball bumped my mediocre 130 average to a respectable 180. The trick was that there was a chip in the finger hole that forced me to bowl better. It also, made a mildly painful dent in my finger. Mike wouldn't sell me it. Turns out I wasn't the only one using it. The combination of pain and a false sense of skill lead me to buy a new ball and shoes. My finger felt better but my score did not.
Tonight, I used my red ball of awesome one last time. One last time because it had two chunks taken out of it. It left a dent but not in my score. It seems if your ball randomly bounces it becomes less effective at hitting the pins. Who is Mike you ask? Mike owns and runs Madison Square Lanes. He is what makes the bowling alley worth while. He remembers the people that come to the Lanes and is usually there to offer advice on bowling and the individual lanes. Thanks Mike.
Madison Lanes also has some other games. There's a pool table. You can get the feel of an amusement park with a classic quality skee ball game, sorry no game tickets. You've also got the options of eating ghost clothes, jet skiing, and dancing. You can also play your favorite backyard game, corn hole, but in an electronic folly ball version. Lastly, the bar has a juke box with a weird mixture of hits from over the last 60 years. I usually make it my job to monopolize it for the entire time I'm there. Primarily this is to prevent other people from playing bad music than my own skills as a dj. Don't worry if you see me there I won't play anything off of the Best of Bread album. I'm naming Madison Square Lanes as bar #16. I go there to drink and have a good time with my friends. This bar makes me happy and you should give it a try. Tell Mike I sent you.