2923 S.W. Roxbury St., WEST SEATTLE 206-935-7400 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thurs;
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
THIS IS NOT 1987, and you are not in ninth grade. You did not just catch your best friend French-kissing your boyfriend in the alley, and although you are staring at the pink and green neon swirls in the carpet and wondering how you are ever going to recover from the woozy feeling they induce, you are not about to lose your nachos.
Relax. It's OK. You're at the Roxbury Lanes bar and lounge, and you're here to have a good time. You hold your nachos and your vodka much better than you did way back when, and best of all, you're legal. OK—way past legal, but who's counting? Not the table of his-and-hers permed mullets drinking tequila shots and Bud Light. Certainly not the loudmouth at the bar—the one who just told an unsuspecting patron that Gerri, the adorable bartender, adds beef bouillon to her Bloody Mary mix (how's that for a secret ingredient?).
You prefer bars that are as dank, dark, and depressing as a month of a rainy Sundays; you loved the Admiral Benbow in its heyday and ditto for the perverse pleasures of the Family Affair. You like hanging out at the kind of place where dudes with arms like tanks and bleached blond Hulk Hogan-feathered hair order individual bottles of Gallo chablis and then play Paula Abdul songs on the jukebox—that's the kind of slice o' life you favor. You don't need fancy drinks with fancy names in fancy glasses; all you need is a steady pour of house booze and a vinyl-covered chair (preferably one that swivels because you really don't like to miss any of the action). You like the kind of joint where the service is swell, the prices are low, the decor is gloriously gauche, and getting hammered is not an option, it's a requirement. You love a good dive as well as each and every freak show inside it. And since the Roxbury also comes with a dozen lanes of bowling and a snack bar featuring more junk food than your neighborhood 7-Eleven's freezer section, well, that's all the better.
Hands down the best karaoke bar/bowling alley crossover joint in town, Leilani Lanes is the kind of place where inordinate numbers of would-be balladeers and rock stars choose "Welcome to the Jungle" or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as their nightly encore. It's the atmosphere. Decorated like some strip-mall manager's idea of island exotica, the Leilani leaves no clich頵ncovered—not coconut-shell bikini tops, not faux fireplaces, not plastic palm trees. Nightly drink specials ensure easy inebriation and bar food snack items may be procured via your server. For those of us who can't afford proper Polynesian vacations, Leilani is a great destination on cold winter nights. 10201 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-783-8010. 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Sun.-Thurs.; 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. GREENWOOD
WEST SEATTLE BOWL
For a really good deal on bowling-and-beer, you really can't beat this place on a Monday night. Buy a pitcher of beer ($7.25 for domestic up to $10.25 for imported) and you get a coupon for three free games of tenpin. When that pitcher's drained and your date has beat you in all three matches by more than your age? Order another round of games and Guinness. From about 9 p.m. (when leagues are over) until midnight or so, the bar has no boundaries—and when there's that much beer, the bowling is that much more fun. 4505 39th Ave. S.W., 206-932-3731. 4 p.m.-11 p.m. or longer daily, depending on "lane activity." WEST SEATTLE
The bar here does karaoke, pull tabs, and ambience—in that order. While there's always some variety of hotshot trying out an R. Kelley jam, and the Plexiglas bins of quarter tickets are usually full, this place couldn't have fewer frills if it were a brown paper bag. Perfect. The lanes are open 24 hours a day just in case you get a hankering to bowl at 3 a.m., but the bar closes by 2 a.m. nightly. 1420 N.W. Market St., 206-782-7310. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily BALLARD