Rock and funk find a home at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Where else on this planet can you eat a heaping plate of soul food, slip on some bowling shoes, hit a few pins and watch great performers, such as Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction wail through the band’s 1988 album, “Nothing’s Shocking?”

Turns out Brooklyn, London and now, Las Vegas.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Grand opening weekend at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas recently opened at The Linq, an entertainment district nestled between the Flamingo and The Quad. Early shows included top-tier acts, such as a collaboration between Elvis Costello and The Roots.

Las Vegas is the largest of the three locations, the first Brooklyn Bowl in New York opening in 2009. Las Vegas’ cousin on the other side of the pond, in London, opened a few months before the Strip venue. At 80,000-square feet, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas is the size of the Brooklyn and London venues combined. A fourth Brooklyn Bowl in Chicago is being considered, Brooklyn Bowl partner Peter Shapiro said.

“It’s a similar feel — the couches, the floor, the walls, the artwork, the bowling check-in,” he said of the Las Vegas venue. “A lot of it is modeled after New York pretty closely.”

Shapiro described the Las Vegas venue as mimicking the original Brooklyn Bowl, housed in an old warehouse from the 1880s. The decor uses plenty of distressed wood, brick and wide-planked floors. Carnival-like paintings and figurines give the venue a soulful-feel.

“That’s a look that will stay with us,” he said.

Brooklyn Bowl, of course, isn’t the only game in town when it comes to music venues. Comparable venues include the long-standing The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, and its sister venue, Vinyl, which offers concert-goers a chance to get up close with the performers. The Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea and Boulevard Pool also have up-and-coming and alternative acts come through, featuring not only the mini-residency of Bruno Mars, but also performances by such artists as Lorde and Lana Del Rey. The Axis at Planet Hollywood is home to Britney Spears two-year residency and will also host boy bands New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas has booked such acts as O.A.R., Gogol Bordello, PrimusFishbone and Tedeschi Trucks Band through May.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Thirty-two bowling lanes flank the left side of the stage and standing area at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/

“It’s been awesome,” Shapiro said of the first shows. “To see the response from people and fans has been almost overwhelming. People have responded with an almost emotional reaction.”

A bowling alley to the left of the stage allows those with tickets to the show to hit the pins on 32 lanes. Also inside Brooklyn Bowl is a restaurant where you can dine without having to buy a ticket for that night’s show — at least most shows. You can hear the music just as well — even singing along to your favorite tunes — and if you’re seated in the rights spot, you can even see some of the performance.

“Maybe we’ll have Jane’s Addiction sold out and we’ll say the whole venue is ticketed,” Shapiro said. “Most nights, what’s typical is you can go in for free (to the restaurant) and eat and drink. … Some of it we’re still figuring out.”

Shapiro said bands are chosen who have a roots rock and rock ‘n’ roll feel.

“That’s the special sauce,” he said. “There is no rule. You feel it out, you vibe it and make it. We’re definitely trying to be eclectic.

“You don’t always know when you build a venue how it’s going to turn out in real life. I can say I’m really happy the way it turned out — it surpassed what I was expecting, and I was expecting pretty good.”

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Brooklyn Bowl Announces Opening Lineup as it Rolls into Las Vegas this Spring

The Las Vegas entertainment experience and music scene will once again be redefined as Brooklyn Bowl opens its doors March 2014 at The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment’s open air district in the center of the world famous Las Vegas Strip (Pictured Bowlive london)

Brooklyn Bowl launch at 02 Arena, London, Britain - 16 Jan 2014

Following in the footsteps of the original Brooklyn location and their recently opened outpost at the O2 in London, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas will feature live concerts, 32 lanes of bowling and food by celebrated restaurateurs, Blue Ribbon. With three levels spanning over 80,000 square feet, it will be one of the largest venues music in America, and will offer programming throughout the day and late into the night.

As Brooklyn Bowl co-founder Peter Shapiro put it, “We are thrilled to bring the unique Brooklyn Bowl vibe to Las Vegas. This multi-sensory, free-standing performance venue will allow people to have a full dining, social and concert experience under one roof.”

Over 2,000 concert goers will be able to enjoy performances from the standing room general admission area, the luxurious bowlers lounges adjacent to the lanes where bowlers can relax on leather sofas and enjoy the full menu of food and beverages, or the private lounge boxes overlooking it all. Like in New York, on many nights, guests will be able to come early and stay late to experience multiple shows with just one ticket. The live concert experience will be complemented by five on-site bars showcasing local craft brews and rockin’ comfort food by the world-renowned Bromberg Brothers’ Blue Ribbon Restaurants, including their iconic Fried Chicken celebrated on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

“Part of Brooklyn Bowl’s fun atmosphere is the food and the experience around you,” says Blue Ribbon co-owner, and partner in Brooklyn Bowl, Bruce Bromberg. “We are excited to bring the menu to Las Vegas for guests to enjoy good times and great tastes.”

The original Brooklyn Bowl has been heralded as “one of the most incredible places on earth,” by Rolling Stone Magazine, and was ranked the number one music venue in New York City three years in a row by Zagat.

Brooklyn Bowl’s Spring 2014 programming will offer an eclectic schedule of live concert and performance events as well as late night shows. The first announced shows include:

  • March 8-9—Bowlive feat. Soulive with special guests
  • March 14—The Roots
  • March 15-16—Elvis Costello and The Roots
  • March 19—Brett Dennen
  • March 20-22—Cake
  • March 20-22—Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (late)
  • March 23—Local Natives
  • March 26-29, April 2-5, 9-12—Galactic (late)
  • March 29-30—Lettuce
  • April 5-6, 19-20—Robert Randolph & the Family Band (late and brunch)
  • April 10—Bonobo
  • April 12—Big Gigantic
  • April 14—The Naked and Famous / The 1975, with the White Lies
  • April 15—The Green
  • April 16-19—Trombone Shorty (late)
  • April 17—Chance the Rapper
  • April 18-20—Phil Lesh & Friends
  • April 20—The Infamous Stringdusters (late)
  • April 24-26—O.A.R.
  • April 25-26, May 2-3—Gogol Bordello (late)
  • May 1-3—Primus
  • May 5—Twenty One Pilots
  • May 8-10—Jane’s Addiction performing “Nothing’s Shocking”
  • May 22-25—Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk & Soul Rebels Brass Band
  • May 29-31—Tedeschi Trucks Band (early)
  • May 29-31—Soulive (late)
  • June 5—Black Label Society
  • June 10-11—Thievery Corporation
  • June 13-14—Steve Winwood
  • August 7—Chromeo
  • August 29-31—The Avett Brothers
  • Coming Soon—The String Cheese Incident
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