Right up our alley

North Austin racks up new entertainment center with bowling and bumper cars

North Austin racks up hip new bowling alley and entertainment center

Pinstack Austin
The new Austin Pinstack offers 50,000 square feet of fun. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
The dining area is quieter counterpoint to the neon game room. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
The bowling alley offers lane-side service. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
A night at Pinstack can be a bumpy ride. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
Carnival-style prizes make a coloful display. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
The light-up rock climbing wall doubles as contemporary art. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack offers both public and VIP lanes. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
The massive arcade boasts state-of-the-art video games. Photo courtesy of Pinstack
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin
Pinstack Austin

A Dallas-based group is hoping to bowl Austin over with its signature combination of state-of-the-art games and chef-inspired cuisine. Pinstack, a popular metroplex entertainment concept with locations in Plano, Las Colinas, and Allen, is opening its first Capital City location on February 19 at 500 W. Canyon Ridge Dr.

True to its name, Pinstack is best known for bowling, including a more intimate set of lanes reserved for VIPs (or at least VIPs for a day). Still, if rolling strikes doesn’t quite strike guest’s fancy, the whopping 50,000-square-foot space is packed with plenty of other diversions, according to a release.

Active types will appreciate the laser tag arena and six-lane, LED-lit rock climbing wall. More relaxed fun-seekers might want to take a spin in the bumper cars, work their flexors on the giant foosball table, or get lost in the beeps and bloops of a massive game room packed with classic arcade games and newfangled virtual reality experiences.

“We look forward to bringing our growing concept to the North Austin community, offering a variety of experiences from bumper cars to bowling,” said Mark Moore, CEO of parent company Entertainment Properties Group, Inc., in a release. “We know the Pinstack experience will fit right in with all of the great food, beverage, and entertainment options this city has to offer.” 

Austin may have its fair share of adult entertainment complexes like the newly opened downtown location of Punchbowl Social, but Pinstack hopes to break away from the herd. Part of that is achieved by putting as much thought into their food and beverage program as it does to its high tech games.

Though one won’t find delicately plated crudos served under the neon lights, customers won’t be stuck eating frozen nuggets either. The approachable menu includes takes on American fare like the Whole Hog pizza smothered in Italian sausage, applewood bacon, and pulled pork; a signature burger made from ground chuck and brisket; and mac ’n’ cheese formed into handy pops — perfect for dipping into the accompanying tomato basil bisque.

Those who want to stick to snacks will find a wide variety of easy appetizers, both relatively healthy (a hummus trio served with pita) to unashamedly fried (pickles and mozzarella sticks). This is not a place that is afraid of ranch dressing. Monthly specials like March’s braised short ribs with poblano cheddar grits and roasted vegetables allows the kitchen staff to work with Texas farmers and purveyors.

The beverage offerings are also a chance to show some local pride. In addition to carrying 12 wines on tap and a selection of craft cocktails, Pinstack emphasizes Lone Star makers on its beer list. Among the favorites are selections from Granbury’s Revolver Brewing, Blanco’s Real Ale, and hometown heroes Hops & Grain.

All of the above should be manna for party planners and corporations looking for team-building events. If they must mix in a PowerPoint with all the excitement, Pinstack has full AV capabilities to accommodate presentations, too.