London is getting a dog-friendly bowling tournament this Summer and dog-friendly bowling lanes to stay! From the collaboration between All Star Lanes and London Dog Week, which will unravel in a series of Summer events, there is a first for London dog owners (or “parents”): the Dog Parent Bowling League. We were recently invited to the launch party of this new initiative and this is all you need to know.
Dog-friendly bowling lanes: All Star Lanes opens its doors to canines
Until recently, All Star Lanes used to have some dog restrictions in place. But things have changed. The new Managing Director of All Star Lanes is a big dog lover and has a little sausage dog called Brenda (as in Beverly Hills), and has partnered with London Dog Week. Aneka Johnson, Co-founder of London Dog Week tells us, “He understands that dog/owner connection and the social element of having a dog by your side and wanting to do stuff with your furry bestie! I think we bring quite a strong case to why dogs should be allowed into venues, education to change perceptions on dogs inside venues is the key.”
All Star Lanes’ new favourable dog policy applies at All Star Lanes Brick Lane and White City venues and now provides that well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar areas and on the lanes, on condition they are kept on a lead, with a maximum of 2 dogs per lane at a time.
Further to this, All Star Lanes and London Dog Week are launching the Dog Parent Bowling League at All Star Lanes, White City, starting this month: the first of a few dates which will run during the Summer (Sunday 7th July, 4th August and 1st September 2019). Aneka explains that one can take part in just one tournament or all of them throughout the Summer and each tournament has fun prizes for the dogs to be won, adding that the aim of the event is to have fun, compete for prizes for dogs and humans and make new friends.
“We are huge bowling fans,” explains Aneka, “and both of us [Aneka and her co-founder Lois] have grown up going to bowling on Sunday afternoons with the family, and one of the things we both said is would love to go bowling with our dogs.” So the concept came before the collaboration they started with All Star Lanes.
Dog-friendly bowling tournament: what it is all about?
But what to expect from the dog-friendly bowling tournament? We were invited to have a sneak peek at the launch event and met a few “instafamous” dogs, among whom there was a large delegation of pugs, sausage dogs and pomeranians (and to represent large dogs, the placid Zeus the Malamute). The event was h0sted in the private events space of All Star Lanes Brick Lane, upstairs from the main lanes, where there are 3 lanes, a bar area and a quieter area with tables.
Canapes and cocktails for humans, and dogs posing for photos at the start of the event. The bowling game afterwards. Each player got their dogs’ name on the screen and the fun began. We didn’t have Argo with us, but observed and had a cuddle with some of the dogs attending.
We didn’t find the bowling particularly loud and looking aroudn we didn’t see any dog particularly bothered about it at all. Just a couple of them preferred to stay off the runway on the lanes and watch from the back, but we didn’t notice any distressed behaviour in the dogs when the balls hit the bowling pins. If we had brought Argo, I would have been more worried that he’d want to try and chase the ball rather than being scared of the noises to be honest. Of course, each dog owner is the best person to assess whether their dogs would cope well with that environment and it may not be for everyone.
If this is something you’d like to try, the dog-friendly bowling parent tournament is taking place at All Star Lanes in White City (while All Star Lanes is at Westfield – the venue can be accessed from the street) on Sunday 7th July, 4th August and 1st September, from 12.30 to 3pm. Tickets are from £10 per person and upgrades are available for sharing platters for 4 people for £40 (with sliders, brisket bon bons, padron peppers, halloumi fries, BBQ wings and tiger fries), full events listings and links in the Dog Events Calendar here.
Other events by All Star Lanes X London Dog Week
The bowling tournament is not the only event All Star Lanes and London Dog Week will be co-organising this Summer. They have also thought of other two event formulas: a more classic dog brunch (“Barking Brunch”) and a speed dating event for dog owners/lovers (“Date My Dog”). Aneka notes, “With the dog dating you just need to be single and have a dog and of course looking for love! Think a room for of owners and dogs mingling and getting to know each other, as you are all dogs lovers, you are sure to have at least one thing in common. Personally I would not date someone who didn’t love my dog Chubbs [a black Frenchie with a white mark on his chest] or who didn’t love dogs at all, definitely a deal breaker! There will be of course bowling available for people wanting to get to know each other on the lanes also!”
So who are these events for? “For anyone that loves bowling, food and fellow dogs and owners and want to connect with kindred spirits in London. The brunch and the dog parent tournament is tailored to the whole family coming out with their dog for a fun experience and the Dating events for anyone looking to connect with other dog owners for potential love connections.” Find all information in the Dog Events Calendar.