My family and I moved to Winter Park from Maitland in 1997. Any local will know this move is not terribly far. The edges of these small towns like Winter Park, Maitland and Casselberry all tend to blend together, even for longtime residents.
In my neighborhood, there are just things you do like grab a Philly Cheesesteak at Cappy’s, catch a live show at The Copper Rocket or Fairbanks Inn (RIP) or meet up with some friends at Aloma Bowl for Cosmic Bowling. These are places I still love going to. They’ve been around so long they’re as close to historic local monuments as one can get.
Most bowling alleys have a somewhat retro, art decco look. When I walked into the revamped Aloma Bowl, it reflected a modern style and flavor while still maintaining the spirit of a traditional bowling alley. The seating in the bowling pits (32 lanes) were very modern and curvy, a great balance of kitschy aesthetic and comfort. I didn’t bowl this time but I will assuredly come back to bowl. The Redemption Arcade, the Brooklyn South Bar and Grill and lounge area immediately caught my eye, as did the new large screen TVs throughout. Over $500,000 was put into this reopening, and it certainly shows.
Brooklyn South Bar has twelve beers on tap and over twenty bottled options, domestic and import. They also have several craft selections as well as fully stocked liquor bar with nightly drink specials including $7 Domestic Pitchers during Happy Hour and $4 selected wells and calls. The first drink I tried from Brooklyn South Bar, named the Aloma Blue, was very similar to the first ever drink I had at Aloma Bowl years ago, which was a Blue Hawaii. It had lemonade, lime, vodka and blue Curaçao… it was very blue and even more tasty. I also tried their version of Sex on the Beach which was on par with others I’ve tried.
On the grill side, I tried the mini cheeseburger sliders, which were great. Each had cheddar cheese, grilled onions, pickle chips and thousand island dressing. The buffalo wings, I tried mild, hot and parmesan garlic, were also good. What I really liked was Brooklyn South’s Veggie Pizza! It was topped caramelized onions, mushrooms and peppers. Their pizza crust had a great flavor – it was like having a breadstick after you’ve finished. Brooklyn South’s Dips & Tortilla Chips were all really good. The Spicy Queso was delicious! The nacho cheese was chunky and incorporated, my best guess, a buffalo sauce flavor and maybe even some bleu cheese. (Menu online)
All told, the food was a lot better than I remember. Actual restaurant quality food as opposed to typical bar or bowling alley food, which one may eat simply because it’s there. I would definitely go back and have dinner at Brooklyn South Bar and Grill, even if I weren’t bowling.
Aloma Bowl’s game room, The Redemption Arcade, got a massive upgrade. Before they had maybe six arcade games – I used to love playing X-Men! Gone are the days of tokens. Now Aloma Bowl has a new refillable playcard system and a dozen or more games, including a really cool Batman game and a few games of chance that will keep the kids busy if mom and dad want to bowl for awhile.
Aloma Bowl is inviting the public to their own ReoPINing celebration tomorrow, Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th with buy one, get one free deals on bowling games, shoes and appetizers in Brooklyn South Bar and Grill!
2530 Aloma Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32792
Hours of Operation
Sunday – Thursday 9am to 12am
Friday – Saturday 9am to 2am