The Norwich bowling alley that has become one of city's top food spots
- Credit: Beth Moseley Photography (main image)/Bowling House
While the lanes at the Bowling House in Norwich reopened on May 19, the venue was flooded with bookings for weeks before that thanks to its growing reputation for food and drink.
Under the latest lockdown easing, bowling was allowed to return from May 17, but the Bowling House in Dereham Road has been welcoming customers back since April for outdoor dining.
Before the pandemic, it was rare for people to go there just to eat and drink, but that has all changed now.
Faced with months of lockdown early last year, owner Jack Thompson and his team spent the time revamping the garden and creating a new menu.
The venue reopened on July 4 last year just as a bar and restaurant while the lanes still had to remain shut.
The bowling had been set to return on August 1, but after the government postponed it with one day's notice the Bowling House issued a plea on social media urging people to book a table and keep it from the brink.
The team was bowled over by the response and they were inundated with bookings, with many discovering them through Eat Out to Help Out too.
Bowling finally reopened in mid-August, but since then food and drink has become just as an important arm of the business.
Sam Leonard, marketing manager, said: "Before last year it was very rare for people to come just for food and not bowling, but now we have loads of bookings to eat and drink and our reputation for it has really come along nicely.
"We also do music and comedy too and have a lot more strings to our bow now."
This includes Hooma Comedy Club nights on Saturdays and live music nights on Sundays, run by Bare Feet Records, and both sell-out most weeks.
Alexander Carson, singer-songwriter and owner of Bare Feet Records, said: "We have a different line-up every week with three to four acts and it is not just local and regional acts, but stuff you have heard on the radio."
Book bowling, karaoke, food and drink or live events at bowlinghouse.co.uk
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