Grand Central Bowl839 SE Morrison Portland, OR 97214 Southeast Portland
(503) 236.BOWL - Visit Website
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BarFly's Review of Grand Central Bowl
Brought to you by Concept Entertainment, the same guys behind such legendary Bridge'n'Tunnel mainstays as Barracuda and Dixie Tavern. Rumor has it you can bowl with the kids who are allowed until 8, if you're into kids, that is. With multitudes of large screen televisions - usually all playing the same exact show - this place is best avoided if you are prone to seizures. Service is a little pretentious, but what can one expect from a bowling alley with a dress code and prices up to $48 per hour per lane.
On the plus side, instead of destroying the old lanes, Grand Central made them into the bar surface. The happy hour food here is outstanding,though just went up in price, and now there's a *deal* on very overpriced beer.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-2:30am, Sat-Sun: 9am-2:30am.
Sundays: SIN night - $2/game bowling with free shoes, free pool all day.
Mon-Thurs: $15/hour or $3/game 10pm-close
4x pool tables, 5x pinball upstairs.
Grand Central Bowl's Happy Hours
|Monday||3pm-6pm $5 martinis, $4 23oz doms, $5 micros $2.50-$4.95 food menu 3-6:30pm|
|Tuesday||3pm-6pm $5 martinis, $4 23oz doms, $5 micros $2.50-$4.95 food menu 3-6:30pm|
|Wednesday||3pm-6pm $5 martinis, $4 23oz doms, $5 micros $2.50-$4.95 food menu 3-6:30pm|
|Thursday||3pm-6pm $5 martinis, $4 23oz doms, $5 micros $2.50-$4.95 food menu 3-6:30pm|
|Friday||3pm-6pm $5 martinis, $4 23oz doms, $5 micros $2.50-$4.95 food menu 3-6:30pm|
|Saturday||No happy hour info available.|
|Sunday||No happy hour info available.|
Getting to Grand Central Bowl
Reader ReviewsAdd your own review or comment
We first went to Grand Central a year ago with friends. It was great, pricey but good service. I took my daughter for her birthday this weekend. The place was half empty, yet we couldnt get any service. We rang for help multiple times, no one in sight. The waiter finally came to take our order but while I was telling him what we wanted, he turned and left. We finally tracked him down to order, then got our food about 10 minutes before we were done. We tried to pay, but no waiter anywhere. I finally took the money up front as were were so disappointed with the experience we just wanted to leave. They told me I would have to find my waiter. Someone at the bowling counter finally took it to him. So we paid $160 for mediocre food, zero service and an hour of bowling for 8 people. Rip Off! What a disappointment for my daugthers 16th birthday
I work nearby and frequent for lunches. After too many over-priced meals that were adequate and slow service, I'm not returning for more frustration. This place is definitely over-rated. Great place if you are rich with all the time in the world and no taste buds.
I thought that the food was above average, the drinks were fine. Yes it is a bit more expensive than the dives and divier places nearby but I can't imagine the rent there!
However I did not bowl and yes the prices looked to be pretty sky high, but our service was good and it is fine for a change of pace.
You know what's worse than a slick, Vegas-like, expensive bowling alley?
Pretentious, holier-than-thou hipsters who think anything east of the river must legally be dirty and cheap. Take your bed-head haircuts and Goodwill wardrobe over to the Holocene where you belong and shut up.
GCB is not catering to the avid bowler. It's not catering to the low-brow crowd who wants cheap bowling and beer. There are lots of places like that around town, and I like them. I also like GCB when I'm in the mood for something different, just like I prefer to vacation in small villages in eastern Europe but every once in awhile I like to hit Vegas.
That's beauty of America, there's something for everyone. If you don't like it, don't go there.
They replaced the wood approaches with synthetic so I fell onto the lane the first few times because the floor is sticky. My new bowling shoes are ruined from the dirty floors in the bowling area. The food is marginal at best. The billiards table are covered in polyester instead of felt.
the place is really nice. sometimes people grow up, and like to bowl without having to do it in a smoky dumpster. i am one of those people. the food is pretty good, the drinks are cold and wet and you can watch sports.
everybody complaining is probably broke and their idea of a good time is drinking shit alcohol at one of the shit bars that surround the area (no offense to holocene or sassys, those places both rule).
in order to make a nice place, you have to spend money, which in turns, means you need to make money...so you have to charge a little more for the drinks.
it's not rocket science.
Are you an insufferable yuppie? Do you dig shopping malls and think brand names are important? Do you long for your fraternity/sorority days?
You'll LOVE this place!
All others: avoid it like the plague
I have been wanting to go here since this place re-opened. I always loved the building, and had good bowling memories here. As we walked up to our lane, their were two "guys" sitting on our couch on the lane we had been assigned to. As we were looking for a place to tie our shoes and place our coats we came around both sides of them and they didn't seem to care, as they were there before us. The giant video screens playing Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog were more than mildly annoying, as are the flashing lights on the sides of the lanes. The beers and bowling are ridiculously over priced, and as we were bowling, we were sadly reminded of what this place once was, and that yes, we are still in SE Portland. I hope this place falls flat on its ass, as we don't need this kind of crap in SE. Keep it in the Pearl!
First the positives. The place is nice, clean, and offers bowling. Now the negatives. Expensive. Pretentious. The dress code evidently doesn't allow the bouncer to discern between the obviously too intoxicated and those in control. That's funny in an ironic sense when there are ten "security" people roaming around while there are fifty customers on a Saturday evening.
I will probably never again darken their doorstep with my face or money. That's too bad, because usually I don't get treated like a third-class citizen on the east side of the river.
Those same rules regarding (gang type) attire apply at many many establishments, including Portland Public Schools. It is about hiding weapons, drug/gang affiliations, not race. We thought it a bit spendy too. After we left though it was money well spent. Two sisters one lane, one hour...Plenty and a fun, clean upscale atmosphere. We are from SoCal though so the price is a bargain in comparison.
GCB is definately not my kind of place. I prefer quality craft beer and a laid back environment. But that's just me. Some people like the slick upscale atmosphere. The staff was very friendly and the food was decent. The beer selection was very suburban for Portland, but not everyone is a beer nerd. Hell, Henry's has the same douchebag attracting atmosphere as GCB, but they have possibly the best beer list in Portland. The young 'uns from the burbs need a place to go when they dress up and come downtown.
I am a bowler, and the lane environment is not for people who care about their score. The projectors, lighting and music are huge distractions. For drunk people who want to feel like kingpins for a couple of hours- it's perfect.
Point is- GCB is a fine place for what it is. Just cause I'll never go there again doesn't make it bad. I'd rather see it's crowd there than wherever I want to go.
This place is insanely expensive! I'm not cheap, especially when it's someone's birthday and I'm expecting to splurge, but I'm also not going to pay $50 per hour per lane for bowling. I was with a handful of people, so we wanted two lanes. I got there at 5:30pm to put my name down, and they didn't have anything available until 8. Convenient, since the prices skyrocket at 8. I didn't notice this until they called me, however, so we waited for our lanes for hours, drinking their super expensive beer. We would have had to pay $96 (plus $3/each for shoes) for 1 hour of bowling. Who on earth is willing to pay that?! Last I checked, Donald Trump and Oprah didn't live in Portland. Ridiculous.
A couple came in and (if they hadn't left with their mouths hanging open in shock) they would have had to pay $27 each for an hour of bowling! At most places you'll pay $5 tops. The food and drinks are also very expensive, and the food is not so good. The "spinach and artichoke dip" (if you can call it that) was gross, and everyone thought it was hummus.
Also, the owners are blatantly racist! There is a sign on the door with Grand Central's lengthy dress code, which includes "no excessively baggy pants or shirts," "no sports logos," "no sweats," and best of all--"no 'do rags"! Can you believe these people?!
I was excited about Grand Central, but it's honestly not worth it. You would be better off going to a nice place for food and drinks and going bowling at Hollywood Bowl, Interstate Lanes, the one on Powell, wherever. Or try Big Al's in Vancouver (www.ilovebigals). The bowling there is expensive during prime hours, but it's still $10 less than GCL. If you DO decide to check out GCL, avoid weekend days, arrive at least two hours early to put your name down, and make sure you'll be bowling BEFORE 8pm when the prices jump the highest. And don't say I didn't warn you!
Expensive bowling and not worth it. The menu in the restaurant is decent and affordable, but nothing to really comment about. Nice facility overall, feels like Vegas has come to town. Big screens above lanes could be a plus, but proved to be a distraction to my concentration. I need all the help I can get with my score! lol But if you are a bowler and a family or group of friends that are looking for the good old fun, then skip this one. It's very expensive and trying to be something it's not. My advise is to go have a good bite to eat and then go to a "real" bowling alley for your affordable entertainment. Peace.
Don't hang out here if you're looking to do some real bowling. First of all it's expensive: $48/hr on Fri/Sat night plus $3 for shoe rental...6 people max to a lane = $66 total bill for an hour. Basically $11 per person for one lousy game. On top of that the lanes weren't oiled, so the ball didn't even roll right. Be prepared to wait about 2 hrs for a lane too.
The bar/restaurant itself is nice. No cover and the drinks are reasonably priced and the help is friendly and cute. They have I think 4-5 full size pool tables upstairs and it seemed like a nice place for that. Trendy decor; flat screen TV's and swanky furniture. Wide range of people from 21-40 it seemed like...mostly clean and well dressed. Smoking outside only.
You know what the worst part of this extravagant restaurant is?.... CEG owns it, and tries to operate it. How many times are these idiots going to miss the point of what portland is? No micros,employees who are awesome but already disgruntled due to owners who try and be to hands on and have no idea what they are doing. And the prices!! Come on guys who are you kidding. Five dollars for a PBR. Go to the green dragon and get a great micro for four dollars
this place has been not long before christmas, they are begining to get the hang of it, my dad is the owner and they have een making this building for 3 years, you should just give them a break this place is really good, so what if the bowling service isnt that good they are brand new
On tap it's: Blue Moon, Coors Light, Stella Artois, Pilsner Urquell, Bridgeport IPA, Mac's, PBR, and Drop Top. Guinness is in the can. There are no Budweiser products.
We haven't even been open a month yet, the bowling service had a few kinks to work out just like everything does at new bars.
The overall feeling of the place is cool. The servers are friendly and professional. However, in a city that can support over 30 breweries, their beer selection stinks. From the beers available on draft and the bottle selection the beer style leans heavy on lagers. The beers on tap are: Widmer Hefeweizen, Drop Top, Bridgeport IPA, Bud light, Coors light, Steletios (from Denmark I think), and Guinness. Their bottle selection is even more boing: Corona, Corna light, Heinekin, Henekin light, Bud light and so on. You get the idea. No seasonals, no beers with flavor. Hell, Green Dragon, Roots, and Lucky Lab are all within walking distance from this place and not one of their selections is even used. This place is strictly for the PBR crowd. They missed the mark with me and my friends.
The restraunt was good, the restraunt service was good and the bowling was good. But the bowling service sucked. We were there for almost 2 hours before we got to bowl. At the beginning they had told us that it would take 30 minutes.Then in the middle of our game they asked us to go to a different lane. I mean we had already spent $60 to bowl. They asked us to move and promised us a free game or appetizer. We didn't want to start all over. We were there long enough as it was. If you want to go bowling do not go to Grand Central Bowling!
Overall Rating of Grand Central Bowl
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