03/21/2012 10:29 am ET Updated May 21, 2012

Lucky Strike Bowls Us Over

There were no White Russians served at the opening of Lucky Strike bowling alley, but the Big Lebowski vibe was everywhere. And like the Coen Brothers' cult favorite film, the newly picked bowl of cheeries manages to be all things to all people, at least as defined by fictional entertainment bowlers: clubby man-cave for the Barney Rubbles of the world, a hipster high/low scene for Homer Simpson and his Pin Pals, a date-night staple for Lucy and Ricky. For San Franciscans, the ten lanes are most likely to be played during ironic corporate team-building exercises or ennui-charged 'tween birthday parties, but the bowling is only the ostensible reason people would knock down the pins at Lucky Strike. Its high-visibility location just across from AT&T park makes it a great postgame go-to, with or without the presence of its Dudelike investor Brian "Beard" Wilson. (To be fair, this is the 21st location in a smartly organized chain of bowling alleys; Wilson was invited to sink a few into this field for some hometown advantage.) A full menu of sliders, sushi, tacos, frites and treats hits just the right note of comfort and decadence; the full bar is even more varied. A private room in the back comes equipped with a lounging area, long picnic style table, and its own bowling lane, stocked with Giants-orange bowling balls -- interior designer Ray Agousti didn't miss a trick. The opening party was a benefit for the poverty-fighting organization Tipping Point Community, whose supporters had to be escorted to the private room to avoid the throngs which gleefully knocked down the beers and the strikes with equal fervor. Once inside, guests arrayed in the gamut from bowling shirts to cocktail frocks jostled one another, drinks in hand, to marvel at the mix. At a party like this, these lanes weren't made for talking. But Tipping Point's cause is right, so a crowded party and a new Lucky Strike is a thing we can all abide.

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Lukcy Strikes Lanes Opening Party