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MANTECA BOWL

A lot of family fun to bowl you over

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MANTECA BOWL

Manteca Bowl and Family Fun Center has been the preeminent bowling destination for San Joaquin County rollers for the last decade.

JASON CAMPBELL/The 209


POSTED July 11, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Sam Robinson slides forward on his feet as he approaches the foul line. 

His left foot curls up behind him while his body glides to the right – coming to rest in a picturesque pose as the 14-pound polyurethane ball spins and cuts back towards the 10 pins waiting at the end of the 42-inch wide lane. 

Crash. 

Nine of them erupt in an explosion that sends them tumbling in every possible direction. One pin stands, unfazed by the chaos that just ensued around it. It will be up to Robinson to take out this lone straggler on his next role to keep pace with the rest of the members of his group. 

That one, pesky pin and the spare that will come will from crushing it is all that he can think about. 

Tink. 

It flies backward as he slides into the same, picturesque pose. He turns around with a wry smile and walks back to the seats where one of his buddies gets up prepares himself for his turn. 

This is bowling – what it’s like for those who choose to make it more than an occasional trip to the lanes with a group of friends. 

“It’s something that I’ve done since I was a kid, and I love having a place where I can come,” Robinson said. “We’ve always been blessed. These lanes are very accommodating and that helps attract a lot of those bowlers that would otherwise go somewhere else.”

It’s also a place for family fun. 

Built as a true entertainment destination, the facility boasts one of the largest arcades in the Central Valley – one large enough to rival that of actual arcade businesses – as well as a mixture of batting cages set at various speeds for various skill levels. The neighboring Rookie’s Sports Bar and Grill, which was once one of the most popular bars in town, is rebuilding that reputation thanks to a refurbished sound system and an approach towards drawing more out-of-town musical talent. 

And then there’s the bowling. 

Popular with leagues by day, it’s even more popular with middle and high school students during the cosmic bowling events – Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 2 a.m.

“You’ve got bowling and music and friends,” said local student Julie Hanna. “There’s a lot there to have fun with.”

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