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Rolling To The Music

Brooklyn Bowl offers music, fun and food with its newest venue in Philadelphia.

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BROOKLYN BOWL, the award-winning New York City music venue, bowling alley and entertainment center, recently opened its fourth location in Philadelphia’s trendy Fishtown neighborhood. Once a working-class section in The City of Brotherly Love, Fishtown is now an en vogue destination for music, art and epicurean delights. A magnet for creativity, the revitalized community’s narrow streets, exciting new bars, restaurants, music venues and galleries helped make this the perfect location for the brand’s latest venture.

In partnership with leading concert promoter Live Nation, Brooklyn Bowl called upon CallisonRTKL to transform an aged 1920s auto manufacturing plant into a vibrant 1000-person capacity live music performance space – with a state-of-the-art sound system, a top-notch green room for performers, and clear sightlines to centerstage. Adding to the all-inclusive experiential and social engagement center is a fun evening of bowling, cocktails, craft beers and great food by New York-based Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group.

Brooklyn Bowl Sets a New Standard for Bowling Alleys

“The space is part of a full campus of entertainment, including neighboring Fillmore Philadelphia, Punch Line Philly, Other Half Brewing, Foundry, and Philadelphia Distilling,” says Sterling Plenert, Principal at CallisonRTKL. “On show night, the entire block is closed off. It’s like a block party.”

ABOVE: In addition to bowling and live music, patrons visiting Brooklyn Bowl can grab a bite to eat or sip a cocktail in the 52,000-square-foot space, at one point home to an auto manufacturing plant.

ABOVE: In addition to bowling and live music, patrons visiting Brooklyn Bowl can grab a bite to eat or sip a cocktail in the 52,000-square-foot space, at one point home to an auto manufacturing plant.

Upon entering the space, patrons are welcomed into a festive atmosphere featuring hand-painted murals, a wall of handmade carnival knock-down punks, carnival banners and 12 bowling lanes. On show nights, traffic is intuitively driven to the upper level by a grand staircase, in keeping with the overall aesthetic and architectural integrity of the building. The second level features 12 additional VIP bowling lanes with a projection screen at the end of each showing whatever live performance may be taking place, and unobstructed views of the stage from any perspective.

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Brooklyn Bowl Sets a New Standard for Bowling Alleys

“Maintaining clear sightlines to the stage was critical,” says Keith Wlosek, Associate Principal, CallisonRTKL. “We wanted to elevate the customer experience by positioning them as close as possible to the band. We even elevated the bar so patrons could still see the stage over the groups of people in front of them.”

 The bar/refreshments area was elevated in order to provide clear sightlines to the stage for guests grabbing a drink during a live performance.

The bar/refreshments area was elevated in order to provide clear sightlines to the stage for guests grabbing a drink during a live performance.

The entire space was completely gutted with the exception of the existing bowling lanes and six suspended disco balls, all remnants of Revolutions, the last occupant of the 52,000-square-foot space. The standard for the aesthetic was set by the brand’s original location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. CallisonRTKL was charged with translating the vibe of the initial concept and integrating it into the existing architecture.

“One of the challenges was convincing the general contractor that we were not looking for a clean and crisp environment, but rather a relaxing space that didn’t hide the rust or all of the conduit and junction boxes,” says Plenert. “We wanted to show the history of the space that happened over the course of time.”

Brooklyn Bowl Sets a New Standard for Bowling Alleys

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The opening act for Philadelphia’s Brooklyn Bowl was Questlove and DJ Logic. Since it first launched in 2009, the brand now flies its banner in three other locations beyond Philadelphia, including Las Vegas and Nashville.

PHOTO GALLERY (27 IMAGES)
📷: CARLEY RYAN, NEW YORK

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