Date: July 2022
Location: 1508A Gallatin Pike S, Madison, TN 37115, USA

Phone: (424) 888-7445
Website: eastsidebowl.com

Greetings – you’ve arrived!
  • “300” (Gottlieb, 1975)
  • AC/DC Pro Vault Edition (Stern, 2017)
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (Data East, 1993)
  • Avengers: Infinity Quest Pro (Stern, 2020)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight (Stern, 2008)
  • The Champion Pub (Bally, 1998)
  • Demolition Man (Williams, 1994)
  • Godzilla Pro (Stern, 2021)
  • Guns ‘N Roses (Data East, 1994)
  • Hook (Data East, 1992)
  • Hot Wheels (American Pinball, 2020)
  • Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast Pro (Stern, 2018)
  • Iron Man Vault Edition (Stern, 2014)
  • Led Zeppelin Pro (Stern, 2020)
  • Lord of the Rings (Stern, 2003)
  • The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot (Williams, 1991)
  • The Mandalorian (Pro) (Stern, 2021)
  • Metallica Pro (Stern, 2013)
  • Rush Pro (Stern, 2022)
  • Shrek (Stern, 2008)
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party (Stern, 2003)
  • Star Wars (Data East, 1992)
  • Star Wars Premium (Stern, 2017)
  • Stranger Things Pro (Stern, 2019)
  • TRON: Legacy (Stern, 2011)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pro (Stern, 2020)

(Games are subject to change at the discretion of management, maintenance, etc.)

Eastside Bowl entrance

You could be forgiven before arriving at Eastside Bowl if you imagined that you would be rolling up (see what I did there?) to a bowling alley just like one of the many hundreds, if not thousands, of similar bowling alleys scattered across the USA.

Eastside Bowl started out as the shell of a 94,000-square-foot former K-Mart department store. For the founders of Eastside Bowl—Chark Kinsolving, Tommy Pierce, and Jamie Rubin—that gleaming white empty building was the perfect space to execute a modern vision inspired by their past.

Founders Chark Kinsolving and Tommy Pierce, with partner Jamie Rubin

“We are steeped in 1973,” says Rubin, who formerly owned the beloved East Nashville restaurant Family Wash. “It’s my partner Chark’s favorite year in music, and I’m right there with him, so we’ve used that as our theme.”

I had to squint to see the resemblance to the former K-Mart as they have done a nice job of decorating the Eastside Bowl entrance and interior with a retro space-age theme (think The Jetsons cartoon). Being in a former shopping center, Eastside Bowl has plenty of free parking, which is well-lit after dark and appeared to be safe.

Looking Into The Lounge from the bowling alleys

What was a humble shopping center store opened in late 2021 as a mega-entertainment destination offering not only 16 lanes of ten-pin bowling (what they call “retro bowling”) but also live music, a retro-styled diner, a very well-stocked lounge/bar, two billiard tables in their own area adjacent to the lounge, an arcade and something new from AMF (QubicaAMF Worldwide since 2005) called Hyper Bowling. Eastside Bowl is the only alley within 300 miles that offers Hyper Bowling. Any of the 16 lanes can be switched to the Hyper Bowling system from the main desk.

Hyper Bowling is an attempt to combine elements of billiards, pinball, and video gaming with ten-pin bowling. There is an informative video that explains how the game is played found at Hyper Bowling Overview.

Billiards area near The Lounge

The seating areas near the lanes are more like soft sofas than the usual plastic or fiberglass chairs found in bowling alleys of the past. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing because once you have sunk into the couch and are comfy, it’s difficult to get ‘up’ when it is your turn!

Seating areas near the lanes

Chark’s Laneside Diner is a retro-styled diner within Eastside Bowl. Their menu (available for viewing on their website) serves familiar diner items as well as the popular Shepherd’s Pie from the original Family Wash, which was an East Nashville entertainment and dining staple from 2002-2013. 

Shepherd’s Pie and pint special on Tuesdays

They also have breakfast served on weekends. Bloody Mary’s are available with your eggs and toast! When I visited Chark’s, there was a hot jazz-fusion band named HodgePodge (bandleader Alex Hodge) serving up vibrant tunes. 

Diner booths
Breakfast served on Saturday and Sunday

The Lounge at Eastside Bowl pays homage to the 1970s with its decor. They have a great selection of craft beers, wines, and exotic cocktails. The lounge is 21+ at all times while Eastside Bowl is 21+ verified with ID after 10pm for entry to the facility. As mentioned, The Lounge has two full-sized pool tables in a retro-themed area. Much of the artwork in the lounge is either authentic retro or retro-styled. It’s easy to imagine that you are back in the mid-’70s due to some time warp.

The Lounge

The Wash at Eastside Bowl is their entertainment venue. It features two stages, state-of-the-art production facilities, and the ability to host everything from intimate showcases on The Wash stage, larger national acts on the Main Stage, and special events of all sizes. Most events are ticketed and handled through the Seetickets website. From what I can tell of upcoming shows, the majority are Country-Rock or Alt-Country, which would be no surprise since it is located in the NE Nashville suburbs.

Live music at The Wash

The Wash also periodically hosts special events such as the recent Punk Rock Flea Market benefiting Toys for Tots, and an R-rated Burlesque and variety show called Stroke of Luck.

Punk Rock Flea Market

The arcade, simply called ‘The Arcade’, has stand-up video games and pinball (modern and classic), These games will be the focus of the rest of this review.

Some of the pinballs

The Arcade has an impressive selection of recent Stern Pinball games, including Rush, that can be found in the section of The Arcade with all of the other Rock and Roll band-themed games. All of the pin games were impeccable and 100 percent functional, with the exception of Godzilla, which was turned off, and American Pinball’s Hot Wheels, which shut down due to a phantom ‘lost ball’ while I (of course) had a stellar score going.

More of the pinballs

All pin-games are a dollar per credit, and free game and match thresholds seemed to be reasonably easy to achieve. None of the pinballs had dollar bill acceptors, but there is a change machine nearby to convert greenbacks into quarters.

There is one game placed outside The Arcade, a 1975 Gottlieb “300” game (that is in very nice condition) in the lobby across from the bowling alley check-in. The game is hard to miss being next to a 6-foot-tall bowling pin.

Gottlieb “300” and bowling pin for giants

Also in the lobby is what looks to be a very early 1960s kiddie ride with a ‘Buck Rogers’ theme. Nice that it is not just decoration; several children enjoyed it during my visit.

The official mascot of Eastside Bowl

In The Lounge, there was an early 1950s vintage Bally ABC Bowler game that apparently was just for decoration (or perhaps a place for those playing pool to set their drinks) due to the coin box being removed and no pucks available.

ABC Bowler- sadly no longer playable

During my short visit, I was only able to explore the thin veneer of the Eastside Bowl entertainment center. I’d love to stop in during some future weekend to experience one of their live music shows, for example.

Live performance at the Main Stage

I hope these words and photos explain that, in spite of its name, Eastside Bowl is much more than a place to “roll.” If you are in the Nashville area, I’d encourage you to pay them a visit.

Another view of The Lounge

Thank you to the management at Eastside Bowl for the use of the photos that they supplied to me for use in this review.

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