Where: 3375 Oak View Drive
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Info: 402-255-3225; TheVOmaha.com
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Some nights, beer is not enough.
Some nights, you want some wildly blinking arcade lights, healthy competition and a pork belly appetizer. For those nights, I recommend The V.
Yes, an evening there with your rowdy friend is a carefree change of pace, where you can step away from the stiff adult world and play around for a bit. What a relief for your biggest stress of the moment to be the challenge of showing the claw machine who's boss, or that you just can't seem to scoot that deluge of tokens over the edge of the coin push game's cliff.
The bowling is central to the entertainment, even serving as the venue's namesake; the alley architecture forms a V-shape, which allows for the maximum number of lanes in the space allowed. Sixteen lanes roll out under chic blue lights with 12-foot projection television screens on the horizon. Sports play, mostly, but other times you'll catch the elusive music video — always an interesting study in modern entertainment. Special occasion bowlers can reserve the private VIP area, boasting four lanes, pool and shuffleboard tables, plus a 30-foot projection television.
Seats in the V Bar and Lounge allow for a good view of the bowling action, and you'll have access to the full menu from The V's stylish Skrach restaurant. Skrach's food has deliciously evolved beyond the snack bar of old. Inspired offerings vary from ribs to salads, with notably tasty desserts, including homemade ice cream and cheesecake from scratch. Our Thai chicken pizza, enthusiastically recommend by our server, disappeared as quickly as a frame of bowling, as did our bananas foster creme brulee. Of course, if you have a hankering for the ol' hot dog and nacho fare, the Hot Spot Café is available. The Café also offers a coffee and smoothie counter.
The V's bar menu has a couple of signature offerings: the V Ale, which drinks similar to a Newcastle, and a 10-year aged single barrel bourbon, on which The V partners with Evan Williams to produce. Signature drinks and a well-stocked wine list round out the cocktail menu.
Beyond the eats, drinks and bowling, The V features a 4000-square-foot laser tag arena and a Clip 'N Climb rock wall that accommodates indoor adventurers from 25 to 300 pounds. You've got 100 arcade games at your fingertips, and the redemption games boast electronic ticketing, so you don't have to walk around with a mitt full of stubs to count out and keep track of like in the old days. Particularly adorable is the Highway 66 Mini Bowling — a timed 10-frame game, perfect for the ADHD sportsman, as I undeniably am.
Since no one likes to bowl alone, The V is now hosting weekly bowling leagues, and the Epic Monday Night Bowling club is rounding up teams now. The club has its first roll Feb. 10 and wraps April 17. The club is a value at only $8 per week, plus shoe fee if you need 'em. Teams compete for game cards, prizes and practice time. (Contact The V for participation information).
Other weekly events include happy hour discounts Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. and late night happy hour Friday and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to close. Service industry folks should bring a pay stub on Sundays from 8 to 11 p.m. to cash in on half-price bowling, shoes, apps and tap beers.
So play on, friends, eat well, climb high and win much. And do it all at The V.