Normally, a family game night involves video games and tokens.
But sometimes, we're just looking for old-fashioned fun of the
low-tech variety. That's exactly what Dale Schwartz, the founder of
Pinstripes, has created with his two locations in Northbrook and
South Barrington. The bocce/bowling/bistro combination succeeds in
providing adults and children with an unforgettable day (or night)
of games and food.
My family spent a Sunday afternoon at the Northbrook location
enjoying all that Pinstripes has to offer, starting with a
delicious lunch. The menu offers a huge selection of American and
Italian fare, including flatbreads, pizzas, pastas and burgers. I'm
still craving the Eggplant Parmesan and Portabella Panini, which
was cooked perfectly. My husband and younger sons thoroughly
enjoyed their burgers while my oldest boy polished off an entire
margherita pizza. Menu items are all available on the bowling lanes
or bocce courts, but take advantage of the bistro's large,
comfortable restaurant, which also has outdoor seating for
We then moved on to bowling. I loved that the lane could be set
up for traditional and bumper bowling, switching automatically
according to the player. It even has portable ramps to help
toddlers and preschoolers roll the ball. This allowed all of us to
get in on the act, although after five rounds, my 5-year-old opted
to relax on the leather couches and watch the baseball game on one
of the many large screens throughout the space.
Next, on to the bocce court. One of the staff members reviewed
the game rules for us and even gave my sons tips on scoring. Since
the courts are rented hourly, we were able to play several rounds,
switching "teams" each time. Servers attend to your needs both on
the bowling lanes and bocce courts, allowing you to enjoy food,
drinks and scrumptious sweet desserts, all while you play.
Reservations are accepted every day. General Manager Shawn Mason
points out that the crowd changes after about 8 p.m., as the bar
becomes more active and bands play on weekends. Families may want
to book times in the afternoon or earlier in the evening.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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