By Cory Sklar
By Alee Karim
By Christina Li
By Dave Pehling
By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
John Stossel is a fuck-noob, but we do have him to thank for those hard-hitting shit exposés over the years. 'Twas he who first looked deep into the hole of a bowling ball to find out just exactly how much fecal matter was happily gestating inside each indentation. The answer: a lot.
But I bet if you examine anything, you will find a shit-ton of, er, shit; it just depends on what places or things you want to avoid for the rest of your life. Ignorance is indeed bliss. There are many people who no longer sit on BART seats, for example. I once overheard this little gem from two really young chicks at Starbucks: "Oh my God, no ... no way. I will never take BART. There is shit all over the seats. And they rape people." I think she was referring to people getting raped on the trains, not the seats assaulting passengers.
I am not a germophobe at all. If I am served a dish at a restaurant with a hair in it, I just take the hair out and keep chomping. But still, something about mixing bowling with fine dining gave me pause. Good thing that Mission Bowling Club is mostly a bar. Getting loaded and bowling — now that makes more sense. In fact, that is pretty much the only way I will ever participate in a sport.
3176 17th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights
Mission Bowling Club is, not surprisingly, vast and high-ceilinged. The lanes are toward the back, and are about the size of the six-lane alleys you might find in a dot-com billionaire's basement. Instead of the '60s mod plastic seating you usually get in bowling alleys, there are leather settees. This particularly appealed to me, as I'm the sort to sit out every single game and drink while my friends do their thing.
The front of the establishment has a bar to the left and restaurant seating to the right, neither of which is very inviting. The restaurant side sort of reminded me of the cafe at Costco — not a lot of warmth and lots of Formica. The bar is also a bit spartan, and seems more like a way station for beer refills. The most promising part of Mission Bowling Club is the patio out front, where you can drink outside. There's a wall garden to the east with a certain Euro charm.
I was sitting at the door waiting for my friend when I heard, "Katy!" and saw another friend from high school bounding over. He was dripping with sweat, amped up from a fabulous afternoon of bowling and drinking. At this juncture, let me say that bowling at this place is not cheap. It's $35 per hour before 6 p.m., then it goes up to $45 until 8, and then you are looking at a whopping $55 per hour after that. Nowhere on the menu does it mention a blowjob along with shoe rental, so I'm not sure why they think people are going to pay that. I said as much to my friend. "If you split it between four people it's not that bad!" he pointed out. He makes his living as a bike messenger, so I guess if he thinks it's a good deal, I will have to go with it.
Finally my dinner companion showed up, and we sidled up to the bar. The bartenders were super cool and friendly, with the pleasant exuberance of newly hired staff who are happy to have a cool gig and really want the place to flourish. I love that. We chit-chatted for a bit before heading over to the restaurant seating to peruse the menu, which looked pretty awesome. It was a mixture of bar food and haute cuisine. While we were deciding what to eat, we switched back and forth between weird discussions. The subject of fecal matter on bowling balls came up, natch, which bled into a deeper discussion of his new roommate, who apparently sweats so bad that she soaked through her mattress and down into the hardwood floor beneath it, which buckled as a result. Okay folks, in unison: Ewww. I told him to call John Stossel immediately.
"Are you sure she's not a squirter?" Iinquired.
"You are the third person to ask me that," he replied.
We ordered a bunch of food to share ("Are you cool with swapping germs?" he asked me, seemingly unaware of my time as an "onboard companion" in the U.S. Navy).
We had great service from the staff, but the food was godawful, with enough salt to preserve it for Civil War rations. It was all very disappointing. Get it together, Mission Bowl! I want good things for you! I am cosmically bathing you in white light!
I walked my pal to his bike, and on the way a bus went by with an ad for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. "Everything he touches turns to shit," I mused angrily. He takes precious things and squashes them under his boot. It was like the Mission Bowl menu, which looked amazing but did not deliver. This tied the whole theme of the night together.