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Strike Force

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The sounds of bowling balls knocking down pins will mingle with noisemakers and champagne at tonight’s Corner Alley New Year’s Eve party. All night long, teams of up to eight players will compete on the alley’s 16 shiny new lanes, which come complete with touch-screen scorecards.

Between games, bowlers can belly up to the neon-lighted bar to cash in a pair of drink tickets for beer, wine, and more than 40 kinds of martinis. They can also watch Dick Clark and pals ring in 2007 on dozens of plasma TVs, while DJ Terry Urban works the turntables with Top 40 and house mixes. “We’re brand new, and this is already the hottest spot in Cleveland,” says Adam Kleinhenz, the alley’s general manager. “Once you get into the building, the oh-my-gosh-wow! factor is gonna happen.”

The alley opened on December 7 in an East Fourth Street storefront that once housed a Burger King and small retail shops. Neighbors include hip downtown spots like Pickwick & Frolic, Lola, Hilarities, and House of Blues. “You have to take your old, average bowling alley -- the one you went to when you were a kid -- and throw that out that door,” says Kleinhenz. “We’ve reinvented bowling.” Not to mention the standard bowling-alley menu -- which is usually filled with such intestine-wreckers as hot dogs, burgers, and fries. Here, the 4th Street Bar & Grill serves upscale fare like New York strip steak, Maryland crab cakes, and grilled portobello sandwiches.

Next to the restaurant, the glass-encased VIP-only Millionaires’ Row includes a bar and four private lanes. “The neighborhood caters to urban professionals who are looking for a fun night out and aren’t embarrassed if they roll a gutterball,” says developer Mike Auger. “This gives them a chance to live life in the fast lane.”
Sun., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.

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