Last week Bowlmor confirmed earlier reports that it was opening a Times Square location in the New York Times Building, and revealed that the 90,000-square-foot space would have 50 lanes and a “Big Apple” theme, including a stairway fashioned after the Brooklyn Bridge. That got us to thinking about Funzi’s, the lounge at Ozone Park’s Cozy Bowl that’s graced by a mural of (funny enough) the Brooklyn Bridge.
As you can see from the misty photo above, Funzi’s (at least, we’re calling it that because that’s what’s inscribed on the mirror behind the bar) is nothing fancy, and that’s precisely its charm. There’s a shrine containing photos of Keith Hernandez and Jackie Robinson, a Quik Draw machine, a jukebox, a couple of pool tables, and a Big Lebowksi poster (Cozy Bowl hosted the first three Lebowski Fests).
You won’t find a quasi-legendary bartender-philosopher like you will at Sunset Park’s similarly retro Melody Lanes, but a draft beer and a mixed drink comes to $8.50 and you can score a pitcher of beer along with a pie from the next-door concession stand for $17 (burgers, hot dogs, and popcorn shrimp are also sold). And right down to the fake flowers that adorn the booths, Funzi’s looks almost as if it hasn’t changed since it opened as Americana Lanes in 1960 (in 2002, a clique of Americana regulars took over operations after AMF closed the run-down lanes — the ball returns still get stuck, but at $3 per weekday game per person plus $3.50 for shoes, who’s complaining?).
Note the Galaga-themed lanes in the distancePhoto: Daniel Maurer
All of this is to say that the tourists can have their Big Apple–themed Bowlmors and velvet-roped Lucky Strikes — we’re always happy to travel to Queens for Cozy Bowl (Fridays and Saturdays are karaoke nights!), or to the Bronx for Ball Park Lanes. Unless, of course, it’s shomer Shabbos.
Cozy Bowl Lanes and Lounge; 98–18 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park, Queens; 718- 843-5552