Ironically, “Splitsville” Makes a Great Date Night!

Due to a perceived lack of options and shortage of time and creativity, date nights in the city are often limited to the short list of the bar, “your” restaurant, the movies or your couch.  While all of those options are great it’s nice to shake it up every once and awhile. My boyfriend and I have made a pact to have a once a week date night where we have to try a new or different activity. One of our recent favourites is bowling at Splitsville Entertainment, which is where the old Hamilton Mountain Bowl used to be housed.  But be not afraid, Splitsville is not your usual dark and dingy bowling experience! The new owners gave the building a much needed facelift; resulting in the bowling alley looking and feeling much like a swanky bar and lounge.  They now have a cozy and modern restaurant and lounge complete with big screen TVs, leather couches, soft lighting and an entertainment stage for live bands and stand up comics that overlooks all the lanes. Let me tell you, the people watching experience from the lounge vantage point was reason enough to go.  We went fairly early on a Tuesday night, but the place was still packed full of people of all ages and all skill levels giving it their all on the laneways.   I can’t think of any other place where you can see the shy cuteness of a first date unfolding, a 70 year old high-fiving a 10 year old, hard core league players engaged in serious competition, university students enjoying a few pints and some laughs, and everyone having a fabulous time!  We were having a great time before we even laced up our bowling shoes.

And now The Food:  You are probably thinking that you would have to go and eat BEFORE you arrive at a bowling alley or you would be stuck eating greasy, overly-microwaved terrible pre packaged food .   Not true about Splitsville!  Their food was actually quite delicious and satisfying.  My boyfriend tested out their homemade Bacon Mozzarella Melt Burger, which came with fresh cut fries, while I noshed on their garden salad, which was very fresh and generous in size along with their veggie pizza.   Everyone working there was incredibly professional, friendly and attentive.  We even had one of the bartenders come and chat us up about some of their upcoming events they thought we would be interested in and let us know for next time they would be expanding their menu to include Angus steak, more homemade burgers and different seafood dishes.  I can’t wait!

As for the drink menu: their choice of beers was very inclusive, but their wine menu was quite limited.  I guess I shouldn’t complain since I don’t know too many bowling alleys that serve good wine to begin with.  I hope they expand that list for the next time I’m there! I have been back since my last date night for a business function and the Splitsville bartender made a stellar Caesar with tequila.  It was refreshing and spicy and I highly recommended it!

Once dinner was over and we got down to business on the lanes, the party had started.  The lights had dimmed and the energetic music set a fun and festive mood.  For $10 each plus the cost of shoes we had 2 hours of unlimited bowling, which was great because you didn’t have to pre-pay for a certain amount of games or stop and re-set after your game limit ran out.  That freedom of not having to worry about a set small set amount of time made the whole experience very laid back and fun. And after almost two solid hours of bowling, I would like to say that my bowling skills improved but I think my boyfriend would argue differently!

Perfecting my bowling skills at Splittsville

Perfecting my bowling skills at Splittsville

If I can make a suggestion, try and go on a night that isn’t that busy…like I said, we went on a Tuesday and it was still packed.  My second suggestion: if you are playing next to league bowlers, do NOT take their ball!  I did that once….and learned my lesson really fast.

Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste

April 9, 10, 11, 2010

Copps Coliseum


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