Brave a wall of cigarette smoke:

Landmark Lanes

The only remaining bowling alley on the East Side, Landmark Lanes, 2220 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, is a “slice of old-time Milwaukee,” says manager Bill Ryan.

The 16-lane alley, which opened in 1927 as Silver City Lanes, has changed hands - and names - several times since, he says. In the ‘30s, it was renamed Oriental Lanes, and in the ‘70s, the name was changed to Landmark Lanes to differentiate it from the Oriental Theatre.

“It’s one of the few old-time bowling alleys,” Ryan says, adding that it’s unique in that the lanes are in the basement.  “It’s a bar that happens to have a bowling alley.”

It’s worth braving a wall of cigarette smoke to visit the bowling alley, frequented by a lot of college students and locals, he says, for the ambiance, including the old-style ball returns.

“You have to score yourself,” Ryan adds. “It also has a corner bar feel.”

What’s also old-fashioned about the lanes is the price, which ranges from $2.50 to $3.25  - including tax - depending on the time of day.

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Contributing writers: Laurie Arendt, Kay Dahlke, Jordan DeChambre, Candace Doyle, Bob Gosman, Matt Hronick, JoAnn Petaschnick, Janet Raasch, Mary Lou Santovec, Amy Siewert Contributing photographers: Nathan Harrmann, Amy Siewert
Illustrations: Anjl Rodee