Best Of 2020

Best Tiny-Ball Bowling: Pins Mechanical Company and Hoppin' Vines

Best Tiny-Ball Bowling

Duckpin bowling is a special iteration of the sport in which players use smaller bowling balls (without holes), smaller pins and smaller lanes than traditional bowling alleys. It originated somewhere in the upper right-hand side of the U.S. — maybe Baltimore, maybe Pittsburgh, maybe Boston; it’s debated — but regardless, it’s the latest trend in bar-based sports and people are lining up to toss these tiny balls down tiny lanes with boozy beverages in hand. Pins Mechanical Company was one of the first to bring the game to Over-the-Rhine. Based in Columbus, the OTR Pins location features three floors of fun (and a rooftop deck). There’s duckpin bowling, vintage pinball, ping pong, foosball, bocce ball and yard games like giant Jenga and Connect Four. The bowling lanes are first-come, first-served, so come early, put your name in the queue, grab a craft beer or seasonally rotating cocktail and play something else while you wait. Games are $6 per person, no shoe rental required (wear whatever you want). They also offer duckpin leagues. And if you happen to frequent the suburbs more than the city center, Hoppin’ Vines in the former Kenwood TGI Fridays also offers duckpin bowling — plus Delicio Coal Fired Pizza, 40 taps and more than 30 flights. Pins Mechanical Co., 1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, pinsbar.com/cincy; Hoppin’ Vines, 8150 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, hoppinvines.com.