Rock N Bowl, New Orleans
I have never been to a place quite like the Rock N Bowl although I did hear of such places existing in the USA. It is a bowling alley with live entertainment. Sort of like a night club where you can bowl if you don't like the music or vice versa. I decided to set out for the place because I wanted to see and hear some Zydeco music straight from Louisiana. My hotel recommended this place. In fact the clerk comes here herself. I should also mention that they serve food here as I did eat here too. I had a pretty good cheeseburger. The music was entertaining although I have seen better Zydeco bands travel through Toronto (I saw Buckwheat Zydeco here). There were plenty of people dancing about and overall the atmosphere is very festive. The Rock N Bowl is suppose to be one of the great New Orleans experiences but if you are looking for Zydeco music like I was, they only perform in Thursdays. During the rest of week the music is pretty eclectic. Check the website before you go so you select you taste.
It costs $10.00 to enter this establishment. Beer of which I had plenty, was fairly cheap.
Upon examining one of the photos that I posted I noticed that one of the singers is in blackface. I have no idea why as many people consider this offensive. I also remember when I watched him sing that he was not actually singing along with the rest of the band. I thought he might of been a mentally unbalanced relative allowed on stage by a band member..
Dress Code: Bowling shoes if you are bowling.
The owners of the Rock & Bowl bought Ye Olde College Inn before Katrina during which it was flooded. They redid the restaurant over a couple of years further down the property at 3000S. Carrollton with a parking lot adjacent. It is now more upscale than it was and is heavily popular with younger eaters (no longer catering to seniors and no more lunches. Later they moved the R&B to the same spot. It is 5 long blocks from the end of the St. Charles streetcar line on S. Carrollton (probably not a safe walk from there, but there is a taxi stand at the Claiborne corner). I would guess that a taxi from downtown would be about $20-25. They do not serve meat or crawfish pies (try Cooter Brown's) as far as I know, but they do sometimes have fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade which is found at many NO eateries.
Dress Code: Informal in both places
A unique place, in a city of unique places. Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl is really an old-time bowling alley, and at night you can go to hear the best local live bands play. The cover charge is minimal (usually $5-10), and is waived if you present a validated dinner receipt from Ye Olde College Inn.
The crowds can be thick, as is the smoke. The venue must have been classified as a bar, since smoking is allowed, and very pervasive. Frankly, that is my only deterrent to going. But if smoke does not bother you, this is a great, funky, FUN place to listen to music. One of those "Only in New Orleans" places that make me love this city!
Dress Code: Casual
If you like live music, dancing, good eating and bowling...this is the place to be. Locals and tourists alike go to this 18 lane center to dance until two or three in the morning, where the air is filled with sounds of crashing drums, honking saxophones, rolling bowling balls and falling pins. Given this atmosphere, it doesn’t take long for a bowler to start doing the Twist on the approach. By midnight or so, the jitterbuggers start to command the pits.
This is one of the best places to hear zydeco in the city so if you're interested then be there on a Thursday night.
Dress Code: Casual. They have scheduled dance classes in the early evening hours most day so feel free to dress the part.
This 18-lane bowling alley also features live music with a decent-sized dance floor. Tuesdays are Retro Night, Wednesdays are Swing Night, and Thursdays are Zydeco Night. Covers generally range from $5 to $10. The beers are cheap, the people are friendly, and the place is jumping! (It's advisable to take a cab to and from this establishment.)
Dress Code: Come as you are, but if you're dancing, wear some sturdy shoes!!
Oh my God! I've died and gone to Heaven.
If you enjoy partner dancing and are experienced in zydeco, cajun, swing or lindy then you may have the same feeling when you arrive here. The Rock 'n Bowl is your place for serious late night party atmosphere with drinking, dancing and bowling all happening at the same time.
I took a taxi from the Marigny to the Rock 'n Bowl and started grinning as soon as I ran up the stairs. Zydeco night was in full swing with music cranking and dancers filling the floor. A few bowlers were at it too, though you couldn't hear them over the party. The dance scene would be familiar to dancers anywhere: folks were slim and attractive, 30+ in general with the standard 10% too many women waiting at the side of the floor. It's perfectly appropriate to ask someone for a dance if you know what you're doing and I spent a couple of hours two stepping in the arms of several local lovelies. Sensuous but safe (or not, depending on your intentions), I've never understood why more guys don't learn to dance. These women kept telling me about more great dance venues to visit over the weekend and into next week. (Sigh...) If you want to get plugged into the dance community, the Rock 'n Bowl is a great place to start.
How could that waitress at Snug Harbor have known that I was a dancer? But there's still that other tip she gave me that I had to check out. What would that be like?
Ah, where else can you find a place to bowl while listening to local artists live like Kermit Ruffins and The Iguanas?
If that doesn't interest you, at least buy a wig or order some Thai Food next door.
Dress Code: Bowling shoes have been in fashion here for years..
What better to go with a night out listening to great music than.... Bowling? "Did you say bowling?" you ask? After a night at Rock and Bowl, you will certainly understand! Beer, bands, bowling, and burgers everything you need to have a great time with friends. There is room for dancing and plenty of lanes to get your daily exercise for your left or right arm.
Dress Code: Whatever...
Maybe only in New Orleans you can find a Bowling Alley that has live bands on a banstand and a place to dance? Rock N Bowl a unique place to bowl, dance, listen are do all at once.
So many night clubs exist in Carrollton which is the University area, but the famous, Rock-N-Bowl is my favorite. Especially when the cajun bands play.