by Barbara Kent

You might think that when JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, NBC and New York Magazine throw staff parties it would be at some posh little place with dark paneling and plush carpets. With a fine catering menu, full bar and accommodations for parties of from 10 to 550 guests, however, BOWLMOR Lanes has been a constant front runner for parties given by the previously-mentioned, in addition to Ogilvy & Mather, Sothebys, Time Magazine, Goldman Sachs, Saloman/Smith Barney, Godiva. and a plethora of other heavy hitters. Yes, a bowling alley.
BOWLMOR is not the bowling alley you had your 11th birthday party in. There is no baby-sitter, there are no leagues and the pizza is not limply coagulating under a hot-light. More nightclub than bowling alley, there are bouncers, two big burly fellows at the front door. Once past the bouncers, from the moment you enter the tiny fun-house-like steel-paneled and neon shiny vestibule, the excitement mounts and the elevator to the lobby becomes an amusement-park ride. The clatter of pins, chatter of company and patter of the DJ over the music add to the carnival atmosphere. Succinctly, Bowlmor Lanes is great fun, even if you donít bowl.
In the 1950ís Bowlmor was the set for the first televised bowling show. Three years ago Bill Lemon and Tom Shannon, both with backgrounds in sales, bought the 60 year old Greenwich Village Landmark. ěThe previous owners didnít spend a lot of money on it,î said Bill, ěthey hadnít done any renovation in a very, very long time and the place was in need of a facelift, but they were still doing a great business. We figured if we put a serious investment into it and did some advertising we would do even better.î They put multi-millions into Bowlmor and turned it into a stunning art gallery. Designed by OGA, Office For Global Architecture, the now slick art-deco bowling alley has been featured in INTERIOR Magazine. The four story building has 44 bowling lanes and is equipped to handle smaller parties, from two to 13 lanes; private full-floor parties for between 80 to 200 people, with private bar and wait service; private full-house parties for 160 or more guests, and what every good nightclub should have, a VIP Room which can hold up to 70 people.
The sophisticated catering menu at the LANES END LOUNGE includes such exquisiteness as gourmet pizzas with broccoli, fresh basil, and whole wheat crust pizza primavera; Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap, Grilled Tuna or old fashioned sirloin steak, and a surprising grilled Cajun catfish club sandwich. The list of desserts includes chocolate hazelnut ice-cream and hot apple pie a la mode.
Since the renovation, Bowlmor has appeared in the movie "5 Corners," with Jodie Foster, several short films and music videos, the Guess Jeans print ads, Cosmopolitan magazine, the J. Crew Fall 1997 catalog.
In order to attract clients, both big name and not-so-big-names, BOWLMOR offers a variety of different party packages which can include private bar & waitress, DJ and of course, bowling for those so inclined. ěOne of our most successful events,î says Bill, ěis the Monday night Lights Out bowling. Itís very romantic and very popular. Everybody loves it, and as you know, you donít have to be a great athlete.î

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