Town Hall Lanes embraces bar food

The new bar and restaurant in Nokomis East bowls a spare

The space, formerly Skylane Bowling, has been smartly overhauled and is now divided into restaurant, bar, and lanes, so if you're just dropping by for dinner or drinks, you don't have to worry about the constant crashing sounds of strikes and spares — it's pretty well contained. Roomy booths and a gorgeous wooden bar populate the dining area, but it's the massive glittering chandelier that steals the focus and makes good use of the plentiful vertical space and exposed beams. On the lanes side the feel is polished retro, updated with bench seating (instead of the always problematic individual swivel seats), touchscreen scoreboards, and beautifully restored synthetic lanes. Lesson learned on the practically brand-new slippery floor with brand-new slippery ball: Pizza grease is the enemy of your high score.

Overall the experience here is fun and the food is more thoughtful than your average bowling alley fare, even if it over-promises. Town Hall establishments are so well-loved, and this particular corner is turning into such a hot spot, that I'm confident in their staying power, and perhaps the menu will evolve much like the empire has. So drop in, get one of the summer seasonal beers, and bowl while the shoes are still new. The balls, both meat and resin plastic, will be waiting for you.

Alma Guzman for City Pages


Town Hall Lanes
5019 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis
starters $5-$11; entrees $9-$12

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I have been coming to Town Hall Lanes almost every  weekend since they opened. I live two blocks away and was absolutely estatic that they had re-done Skylane Bowl. Over the weekends that I had been there I befriended a few bartenders (Max and Mike being my favorite). However Tonight (November 17th, 2013) I went there with three other friends (one being my brother) to play bowling and celebrate a birthday. All was great. We got one of our favorite waiters/bartenders (Max) and played at least seven games of bowling. 

However, when my birthday friend and I went up to the bar we were greeted with a very unfriendly female bartender whose name begins with the "M". We asked her for the "New" Ace cider on tap but she told us it was replaced by a raspberry cider and promptly got us two glasses without even asking our opinion of it. Needless to say it was a bit too tart and sour for our tastes. We paid for the drinks and apologized, saying we didn't enjoy the tartness of the drinks but would welcome the Super Strike when the bartender had a chance. She was very unwelcoming after that.

After getting our drinks, she not only sloshed them on the table, spilling one over half way and getting them on the birthday boy's jeans, she ignored us for a good hour, despite the fact that we moved to the bar after bowling to get better service. We were very upset. 

We complained, yet she walked away. So we wrote a simple letter on the back of the receipt… not being mean nor offensive in any way..simply stating that we disagreed with her service and we wished she would be more friendly to her patrons in the future. When she grabbed the receipt from us she immediately responded with aggression…accusing us as being drunks and "unruly" despite the fact that we never raised our voices nor said anything offensive. She told us that she refused to even speak to "drunks as us" and promptly told us to get out and that we were "86'd". 

We have been to Town Hall every weekend since their opening since we live two blocks away. We have loved the service and never caused any trouble. This is our first experience with this Indian-type woman whose name was "Maddox" etc (she kept changing it when we asked). 

One of my friends who was the designated driver at the time called and asked for the manager but was met with this woman. She immediately replied "you're the drunks that were here a second ago right? What's your name? Whatever. You're 86'ed". A simple complaint against the manager was met with a banishment? If this is how Town Hall hires and conducts their employees, I am regretful that they took the place of Skylanes Bowl and couldn't live up to their name.