Don’t let the name fool you, Philadelphia’s own South Bowl offers much more than what you expect from a bowling alley—although you can knock down some pins there too, of course.
The multi-faceted event venue boasts 26 lanes throughout its 25,000-square-foot bi-level facility, but the offerings have also expanded into an adjacent outdoor area, which opened in 2019. Dubbed “The Yard”, the space now features slow and fast-pitch batting cages, two 40-foot-long bocce courts, shuffleboard, horseshoes, an outdoor arcade area with billiards, and a full bar with seating. And this is all on top of the two full-sized bars, multiple lounges, and rooftop deck that makes up the popular space inside.
So, yeah, there’s a little something for everyone.
At South Bowl, there is an activity to do everywhere you look—whether it’s playing an old school arcade game, posting up at the bar with a cocktail or utilizing one of the state-of-the-art Qubica AMF bowling lanes with BES X—aka, the latest bowler entertainment and scoring systems technology.
The main hall features 16 lanes (with access to bumpers for little ones, or first-time bowlers) but there are also two private spaces available for parties or large groups in the form of a six-lane bowling alley on the first floor, and a four-lane bowling alley located on the mezzanine level.
As a release states, all areas of South Bowl, including the entirety of the building and The Yard, are available for event rentals, including birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate events, fundraisers, weddings, baby showers and holiday parties. The main floor has a stage for special events, and throughout the venue, there is an enhanced integrative AV system.
The space also hosts bowling leagues, which run Tuesday through Thursday nights, starting at 7 p.m. Teams consist of up to six players, with four bowlers per game—new leagues begin in June and interested groups can learn more online.
With its location, South Bowl—and specifically The Yard—have also become a destination for tailgating with its close proximity to the stadiums, and also for watching games both indoors and out.
This multi-faceted design was intentional for the owner, Oron Daskal. As he puts it: Contrary to the venue’s sister site, North Bowl, South Bowl is an experience, and a destination. “The space is purposely designed to provide a multitude of indoor and outdoor options to keep visitors of all ages entertained for hours,” Daskal explains.
Fuel for all the activities that the space offers comes from a large menu of both food and drink options. With a wood-fire pizza oven dishing out hand-tossed pies made from locally- sourced ingredients, favorites include the American Red Hot (made with red sauce, hand-cut pepperoni, long hots, Fresno Chili Peppers, fresh mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and hot honey garlic oil), and the Shroomin’ Pizza (made with garlic white sauce, roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, sage, truffle oil crust and Pecorino Romano.) The menu also boasts burgers, wings, tacos, and a selection of loaded tater tots (the options will happily surprise you), plus salads and vegetarian options.
Thirsty? South Bowl serves up signature cocktails (the Rose sangria is a winner) and local brews on tap, including the Love City Unity IPA and Victory Brotherly Love. Other highlighted cocktail options include the Malbec Margarita and House Old Fashioned.
As a release states, South Bowl (19 E Oregon Ave.) is open Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to midnight. The Yard is open Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 11 p.m. However, hours for The Yard may vary due to weather—Philadelphians can call ahead to confirm availability at 215-389-2695. Guests can also use the free parking lot adjacent to South Bowl or complimentary street parking. A parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of 18, and after 9 p.m., South Bowl is 21 and older.
For information, visit southbowlphilly.com