Olentangy Valley News

Star Lanes rolls into Polaris

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Bowling alley staples like old computer terminals and hard plastic seats are a thing of the past, say the owners of a new bowling alley at Polaris.

Bowlers at Star Lanes Polaris will enter their names on large touch-screen displays and even link up with their Facebook accounts to share scores or upload a photo with friends.

The lane interface at this new alley allows players to send messages to other lanes to cheer bowlers on, or trash talk their friends in another.

Twelve-foot-tall projector displays above the lanes will screen sports and other TV programming.

And each lane has a big, sturdy blue couch with wide arms -- designed to be perfect for sitting or leaning -- for players waiting their turn to bowl.

"When you come in you quickly realize that the old bowling alley of yesteryear is gone," said general manager Thom Stevenson.

Star Lanes Polaris will hold its grand opening Friday, April 5 at 8655 Lyra Drive, just north of Polaris Parkway. The site previously hosted a Circuit City store.

In addition to bowling the venue features a game center, a bar and restaurant with plenty of tables for dining, a private function room and more.

The main bowling area features 14 lanes that will be staffed with servers to take food and drink orders.

It also has two billiards tables, dart boards, a standing shuffle board game and lots of seating.

"We're trying to encourage socialization and interaction," said owner Doug Mechling. "When the lights are low it has a really nice, cool, lounge atmosphere to it."

The game center features about 60 arcade games including racing and action games, plus standbys like skee ball and claw machines.

Instead of collecting physical tickets like at a typical arcade, Star Lanes gamers will rack up digital tickets on a card.

The redemption counter is stocked with colorful stuffed animals and dozens of other prizes.

"The Point at Star Lanes" restaurant has a full casual dining menu with a variety of appetizers, burgers, pizzas, tacos, wings and more.

Special deals run every night, including "kids eat free" Wednesdays and "destination date night" on Thursdays with discounts for couples.

The bar has more than a dozen beers on tap plus a full menu of wine and cocktails.

"This is a state-of-the-art facility with food similar to what you'll find at a destination restaurant, in combination with games and bowling," Stevenson said. "It's unsurpassed anywhere in the city."

A private area includes a meeting room with seating for up to 100 people and six private bowling lanes.

It can be rented hourly for everything from birthday parties to corporate functions. Guests can work with the chef to customize a food and drink package for their event.

Projection screens in the room could broadcast sports games or a special birthday slideshow, Mechling said.

Three small private rooms near the game center are also available for birthday parties.

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