Four bowling lanes at Bowl Central in Fareham

A local strategy: Discover how Bowl Central shaped their Fareham site

Family entertainment centre by day, sophisticated adult entertainment destination by night; Bowl Central in Fareham delights guests with tenpin bowling, AR darts and a Redemption zone plus video games.

Bowl Central opened in Market Quay, Fareham in March 2023. A premium venue offering five lanes of gorgeous Brunswick bowling lanes, impressive augmented reality darts and a large redemption offer supported with video games.

The sumptuous, urban aesthetic of Bowl Central creates a sophisticated ambience, making it the perfect place for a night out. The high-end styling of Bowl Central creates a beautiful backdrop for any party, fun date or catch up with friends.

We caught up with Managing Director, Tracy Standish, to hear about the Bowl Central journey.

Bowl Central Fareham

Tracy has an impressive career in building successful bowling centres and cultivating the national expansion of a major bowling chain.

He then embarked on an exciting new project to utilise his extensive experience to bring premium entertainment venues to town centres. This endeavour resulted in the opening of Bowl Central in Bournemouth. Following its significant success and have learned a few lessons along the way (like how the addition of bowling strongly increased usage of the Redemption area) Tracy begun looking at other opportunities in nearby towns.

The site of the old Adastra nightclub had been vacant since 2017 and when Tracy visited in February 2020 the location was just right and the site ticked the boxes for the vision to bring the Bowl Central brand to the town.

Bowling lanes at Bowl Central in Fareham

Shaping the offering

Keen to ensure the venue’s design and offering were crafted to reflect the community Tracy decided to drop the gambling games in favour of a concept tailored to families. The aim was to create a safe and fun environment for all the family during the day which would transform to have a strong boutique, adult only vibe in the evenings.

To that end Bowl Central Fareham was built with two distinct areas, each with their own entrance. One area hosts PRIZES, the Redemption venue and video games offer, which is available to all ages during opening times.

PINS is the premium cocktail bar area housing the bowling lanes and darts oche. This beautifully designed space, with high-end finish and urban features is available to everyone during the day but at night is only available to adults.

A premium experience

Boutique bowling alleys have become hugely successful in central London and other large cities in the UK. These sites generally have a smaller number of lanes set into a gorgeous cocktail bar, serve quality food, cocktails and offer superior customer service.  In recent years entrepreneurial leisure operators have strengthened their businesses by expanding their activity offering; often embracing high-tech versions of traditional games.

Bowl Central was created to harness the customer experience of a city-based boutique offering whilst meeting the expectations of a town centre. Guests at Bowl Central enjoy friendly, personal service, with hosts attending to tables and lanes. The activity offering partners popular, traditional games like bowling and darts with cutting-edge technology giving an enhanced user experience.

Furthermore, the finishing touches are all top quality and showcase the considered urban aesthetic. From seating with leather diamond stitching, high tables featuring copper tops with rounded timber edges and the concrete bar to black concealed ceilings, metal sheeting on the walls and timber style flooring.

AR Darts
Bar Area
Basketball Arcade Games
Bowling Lanes
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The future of Bowl Central

The third Bowl Central will open in Reading towards the end of 2023. This site will maintain the strong ethos and ambience of the Bowl Central brand, however, will also embrace some nuanced differences relevant to the local community.

Tracy expects Bowl Central to expand beyond Reading with at least one site opening in 2024.

The advance of multi-activity, competitive socialising, venues into the towns of the UK continues unabated. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Tracy and the Bowl Central team on the installation of their new bowling lanes and Sync EPOS system. It’s always exciting to see the completion of a project, a vision accomplished, the start of a business adventure and the unveiling of a place to bring people together.

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