The Highland Park Bowl is ready to roll once again after a $2 million renovation

Storefront ReportHIGHLAND PARK – The Highland Park Bowl is gearing up for prime-time, reports Eater LA.  After a lengthy and extensive restoration, the 1927 bowling alley opened this past week to reveal the architectural details – and hundreds of bottles of old booze – that were hidden from view and long-forgotten for decades.

The renovation comes courtesy of the The 1933 Group, which also operates La Cuevita a short walk away as well as the Big Foot Lodge in Atwater Village, the Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake the recently renovated Idle Hour in North Hollywood.  Revealing the past does not come cheap: about $2 million has been spent so far, according to KPCC.  Restoring the eight wood bowling lanes cost $30,000 a piece.

After a preview party held earlier in the week, the Highland Park Bowl opened to the general public on Friday with signature drinks, Italian fare and bowling prices ranging from $40 to $60 per hour for a group of six.

In the future, expect a listening room area named Mr. T’s Room and a microbrewery. Highland Park Bowl is located in the 5600 block of N. Figueroa in Highland Park.

— Cecilia Padilla-Brill

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  1. Sooooooo fabulous! Thank you to the renovators for respecting and caring for the past while open gym the doors to the future! Bravo!!!!

  2. It used to be a great hang out for neighborhood kids in the summer at a buck fifty a game including shoes. Sixty bucks! Puts it out of range for local kids….

    • $60 bucks, per hour, for a group of six…… $10 a piece. Stop the outrage.

      • It’s beyond the reach of local residents. What good does this do for the community who it should be serving? We are still fortunate to have local businesses with a stake in the community and its true needs. Unfortunately, they too may soon be gone if this excess continues..

        • masi_gran_crit

          Or you could just go down the street to All Star Lanes and stop being dramatic.

        • I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying Eshlp but I think it’s a little silly to focus on the price of bowling. I’m sure the drinks are $12+, the food’s pricey too. It’s getting way more expensive to have a normal night out in Highland Park. But bowling is bowling – who cares?

        • Not every business needs to serve all people in the community.

  3. Jesus…..^ “used to be a buck fifty” – yeah pal and there used to be no cell phones too. Sorry, but it isn’t 1989 anymore and the price to bowl at a badass restored period centric spot is what it is.

    I can under understand if dude just took it over and then stated charging nuts prices, but he dropped 2 million into the neighborhood. Not like he is gonna get rich quick with a bowling alley.

    • also i never bowled there – how many working lanes did mr t’s have?

      • masi_gran_crit

        Exactly….ZERO. I just went to a crazy rock show at All Star and it was the same scene as the Mr T’s. Bands, cheap beer plus it has actual bowling. I live in HLP and got home in 5 minutes. Seems like some folks would have rather have Highland Park Bowl remain dormant so they won’t have to be offended by the prices.

  4. Reasonable prices to play at what looks like a gem. HP should be thankful for businesses like this investing 2mil and creating jobs and a place for folks to meet. Can’t wait!

    • Not sure you all get it…. it’s the plastic nature of this business, the pretentiousness of it all…Yes, 2 mil all geared to only serve a certain clientele and not the general overwhelming population of HLP. What’s next? Highland Theater going iPic?

      • masi_gran_crit

        Still not sure you get that there is a affordable bowling alley like 2 miles from this one

        • Everything has gone up. A freaking in-n-out meal costs $8.50 now, gonna hit $10 soon. Get up to date bro. You just want another excuse to complain about the new people moving in, we get it.

      • If people are offended by the prices, go to all star lanes where you can bowl for cheap.

      • I agree with you 100%. I find the prices for bowling, which should be a fun family oriented activity, to be insulting to the local community who carried the weight of Highland Park on their backs for years. Why not offer discounted daytime bowling for families? Why does it have to cost more than my monthly utility bill?

        • Culturally Unwelcoming

          “carried the weight of Highland Park on their backs for years”? what the hell does that mean? “weighed down Highland Park for years” would be more like it, in many cases.

          it’s s bowling alley, not a goddamn public utility. it doesn’t have to “serve” anyone, nor should it be expected to.

        • Carried the weight? Yes. Let’s bring back the Avenues to HLP. Those were great times! Lulz. Give me a break…

      • You must be particularly outraged over the prices for movies…….

  5. Not all businesses are geared toward families. This is one of them. Many of us made a conscious decision not to have families for environmental and social issues. Not everyone who lives in Highland Park has children. There are a lot of us who do not have children living in HP and appreciate the preservation happening on Figueroa. There’s the park on York that is free, there’s Sycamore Park with a wonderful playground, the Awesome Playground on York, and countless other family friendly businesses. Not sure why you are focusing on this place when the All Star Lanes is nearby and affordable.

    • I think the rub is that this is totally beyond the reach of anyone in the wage-earning classes. If you draw a salary or are a professional or union tradesmen then you can likely afford a little indulgence like a party of 6 people bowling in a restored gem.

      Something ignored in comments about Highland Parks recent commercial development is a study of the Figueroa Street Improvement Study done in the 1990’s which stated:

      “In 1984, commercial decline on Figueroa Street was epitomized by the closing of Ivers Department Store, a Highland Park institution since 1913. Many other merchants had benefited from the spillover pedestrian traffic generated by the store. A 1997 impact study of the proposed Blue Line public transit line filed by Economics Research Associate on the Highland Park area for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning found a severe shortage of retail commercial activity in both Highland Park and the Northeast Los Angeles City Planning Area. The amount of 1996 retail square footage per capita in Highland Park was estimated at 19.5, as compared with a rate of 30.5 in Northeast Los Angeles, and a figure of 51.7 citywide. A lower rate of retail commercial activity, relative to citywide rates, indicates the incidence of income leakage, as disposable household income is often spent outside of the local economy. Defining income leakage as disposable household income minus area retail sales, this study estimated a total income leakage of $167,190,673 in Highland Park, and $369,991,013 in the Northeast Los Angeles region in 1996. Estimated per capita leakage was $7,834 in Highland Park, and $4,952 in the Northeast Los Angeles region in the same period.

      The problem of income expenditure outside of the Northeast Los Angles region has been a recurring concern for local merchants, planners, and public officials. Strengthening consumption linkages is a vital component in contributing to broader projects of building local economic development, community self-reliance, and neighborhood revitalization. The preservation of the local historical property inventory, a community movement that emerged initially to counter over-development, can be strategically wed to the promise of managed redevelopment.”

      So, what are we seeing now? Is there area being flooded with outside money? Or is it that the businesses are now serving the wealthy residents who’ve lived here for a couple generations in the hillsides, bucking the white-flight trend, but who never deigned to spend their money in the working class shopping districts below their houses?

      We’ve got a few more wealthy families in the flats of Highland Park and the result has been a transition back to the vibrant commercial corridor of the 1960’s.

      A huge issue, I think, is that not enough of the mom-n-pop businesses that serve the lower income residents own their own buildings. We need to move aggressively to allow these places to get the cash, counseling, and other help them own what they’ve been paying for all these years. it’s likely too late now that the market has shifted. On

      • masi_gran_crit

        I think this is definitely a case of “meet your new neighbors” as well as Highland Park being a recent bigtime player as a nightlife destination. I’ve often wondered is the original Mr T’s was one reasons many young people from other parts of the city happened upon HLP, and decided to buy later on when prices were low after the last bubble. I was at a bicycle/coffee shop in Sierra Madre the other day and the barista, bike tech and a customer we’re talking about the wild night they had at their favorite bar. The bar they were talking about was Footsies. And almost every other bar they mentioned was in Highland Park. So yah, young people from outside and inside are driving up the new nightlife scene. The rapid turnaround of Old Town Pasadena in the late 80’s comes to mind.

      • I don’t understand the problem. Median household income in HLP is about $45,000 a year. How much $$ do families/individuals pay for cel service, cable tv, internet and other discretionary spending etc.? $10 an hour for bowling as an occasional activity is seen as impossible? If bowling in an establishment such as this is of value to you, you’ll make it a priority. Otherwise you will spend your $$ somewhere else.

  6. 10 dollars per hour is unaffordable?? Pay up you cheapskates!

  7. LOVE THIS PLACE. Great work on turning something neglected and terrible into something inspiring and attractive. Let’s hope this becomes the foot on the gas pedal of renovations up and down Fig. There are too many worthy buildings on this street waiting to be awakened from the dark ages.

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