If you’ve never thought of bowling in the context of luxury, that’s about to change. While it’s usually an activity generally reserved for an eighth birthday party – or a fun throwback later in life – bowling in Melbourne, Australia, can now be a lavish affair, thanks to Australian design studio Tonic‘s revamp of the Kingpin Crown Casino.
With the brief of ‘transforming the venue into an entertainment experience that moves beyond bowling’, Tonic outfitted the space with a series of separate yet connected areas including restaurants, bars, private function rooms, a luxe VIP bar, a laser tag arena and, of course, a bowling alley.
Until now, the basic formula for bowling alleys includes fast food, two-tone shoes, kitsch lighting and even more kitsch music. Pins Royale, on the other hand, is a glittering showcase of elegance. And it’ll cost you. For a minimum of Aussie $10 000 (roughly R105 000) for three hours, you and 119 friends can bowl like celebrities.
For that price you’d be right to expect a little extra. A butler will greet you at a separate street entrance before escorting you up to the mezzanine floor where the bowling alley is located. While you bowl, refreshments of lobster ravioli and oysters will be served from a private kitchen and you’ll have a choice of 32 spirits from the bar, including a $1 250 (about R13 000) bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum.
Our favourite part of the redesign is the practically all-gold palette; it’s as though its been touched by King Midas himself. Using hand-dipped timber dowels, 40 000 cylinders come together to form a striking 3D ceiling-scape. Anna Gowen, an architect at Tonic, says that ‘the individually cut and hung dowels give a beautiful soft movement and also hide all the services for a seamless finish’.
To complement the metallic sheen, reclaimed herringbone flooring, bespoke leather-and-brass furniture and custom Italian carpets were used. The final touch? The bowling balls are gold, too.
So, next time you find yourself in Melbourne, join the A-list and the high-rollers at this one-of-a-kind bowling alley. Split the bill – it’s worth the splurge.
Visit kingpinbowling.com.au for more details.