Sometimes it's hard to convince your friends to do anything other than grabbing a drink and having a dance on a Saturday night. Bowling? Not usually how people want to spend their precious few hours of fun during the weekend. But pinheads — or those who just want something decidedly different to go with their beers — can rejoice with a game of bowling and beers at The Standard Bowl. The best part? It's free.
Inspired by a trip to New York by two Brooklyn mainstays, Brooklyn Bowl and The Gutter, part owner and CEO of the Standard Paddy Coughlan and former owner of the Annandale Hotel Matt Rule (whose company Music Booze & Stuff handle all musical bookings for the Standard Bowl) found a way to combine their love of live music with their wish to differentiate The Standard from other venues in Sydney.
"It's more like The Gutter," says Coughlan. "It's a lot smaller, a bit more industrial, a bit more edgy."
For those who miss the bigger acts that previously played at The Standard, Coughlan expresses that he never wanted it to permanently stay a ticketed music venue. He first converted the upstairs space, which originally housed junk, into a street and graffiti art gallery. Then 12 months later, he reinvented it as The Standard.
Though it's moved away from the ticketed venue format, The Standard Bowl continues to have live music, with a slew of local, young, up-and-coming acts on the lineup.
The aim is for the bowling to be casual and non-competitive, more of an entertaining activity while listening to some live music. "I don't think anyone is going to bother scoring or any of that stuff, it's just a social thing," says Coughlan. "I mean we've got all the touch screen things up there to score, so you can if you want to, but my gut feeling is that I don't think people will bother."
As for germaphobes who hate the thought of sporting shoes that others have worn before them, fret not, as no special footwear is required. In addition to the live music and bowling, The Standard Bowl is outfitted with pool tables and vintage pinball machines.