Upland’s bowling alley is relatively modern and located on the busy commercial corridor of Foothill Boulevard, just west of Euclid and cater-corner from Upland High, a recipe for success. At 40 lanes, it’s about as large as they get.
I’ve bowled there a bunch of times, and while it doesn’t have the flair of Montclair’s Bowlium, it’s a little easier to get to for me. It’s my go-to bowling alley, and the place where I hit my high score, 200.
One user-friendly touch is that all balls of the same weight are the same color, making them easy to sort for the staff and to return after you’re done. Anyone who’s spent time poking around the shelves for a ball of their favored weight will appreciate the ease of finding a ball: Here are all the 7-pounds, next are all the 8-pounds, organized in order up to 16. My favored weight, 10 pounds, are all green.
The lane furniture is a little uncomfortable, with swing-out swivel chairs, and as with most electronic scoring systems, entering your name or making changes is tricky, maybe more so here with colored pyramid keys that correspond to elements on the overhead screen, once you figure it out.
The graphics on the monitors are funny. For instance, anthropomorphic pins walk out of jail when you roll a gutter ball. The “turkey” graphic below memorializes my getting three strikes in a row, a rare feat for me. On my most recent visits, the monitors were measuring your rolls’ speed (10 to 13 mph for me) and only showing the last five frames instead of the whole game at once.
Upland is probably due for an update; in 20 more years we might think it’s retro, but at this point it just seems a little behind the times, and the exterior is awfully bland too. But while the Dude, Walter and Donny from “The Big Lebowski” would probably find the place too anonymous, Brunswick Zone is a good place to bowl.
Address: 451 W. Foothill Blvd. (at Euclid), Upland
Number of lanes: 40
Year opened: 1985
Architect: somebody who thought a faux awning against a brown box really dressed the place up
Neighbors: Upland High, Kishi, Vons center
Air hockey: Yes
Coffee shop: No, but Nathan’s hot dogs. And salads.
Pro shop: Yes
Ambience: Families, teens (the future of bowling)
Deal: $2 Tuesdays, with games and shoe rental $2 each after 8 p.m.