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BEST BOWLING ALLEY Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: Bryant-Lake Bowl

There are better places in town to bowl and be seen. But when you're looking to immerse yourself in the true Zen of this sport--the feel of your feet gliding like a dancer's along the lane, the echoing thunderclap of struck pins, the sweet smells of tap beer, French fries, and flop sweat swirling in the air--well, it's time for Stardust memories. Just about everything in this cavernous fun house facilitates the bowling, from the computerized scoring on all 30 lanes to the convenient cash machine, the kitschy cocktail lounge, and the adjacent grill to help fuel your follow-through. (Dartboards, pinball machines, video games, and a pulltab stand complete the experience.) The clientele is a healthy mix of leaguers-for-life, college-age kids, families, regular Joes and Janes, and laneside voyeurs who, indulging their bowling by proxy, enhance the spirit of competition. From 9 to 5 daily, adults pay 2 bucks a game or 10 bucks an hour per lane, with a slight increase in cost at other times. The joint stays jumpin' until 1 a.m. every day of the week.

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