Lucky Strike Opens in San Francisco


When Lucky Strike opens in SoMa this weekend, it may be the first time the words “stylish” and “bowling alley” are used in the same sentence. But this chic entertainment spot at 200 King St. is not your typical 10-pin, sweaty-shoe rental, 1950s artifact. In fact, owner Steven Foster doesn’t care if you bowl or not when you visit—and you won’t either.

Foster has hired design genius Ray Azoulay (creator of Los Angeles’ Obsolete Gallery and collaborator on many high-profile interiors) to create a spot described as “gastro pub meets funhouse,” complete with a dining room, bar, collaborative trivia game and, of course, bowling lanes. Foster has a string of Lucky Strikes across the country, but when he wandered into Azoulay’s gallery (both men live and work in Venice), he decided he wanted to do something different and more handcrafted.

The results: a dining area with cool, midcentury-inspired metal chairs and an oversize leather Chesterfield-style banquette; a forty-foot bar defined by massive, reclaimed wood beams; a cage light fixture decorated with hundreds of loose incandescent bulbs; and the Einstein room: a group trivia game that marries high tech with old school game show. Design inspiration is everywhere, including the green room—a private dining space with cush green velvet chairs, rustic wood paneling, lamps reminiscent of bowling pins and a long, X-base farmhouse table.

When it openened last night, it was a VIP party that is a dream come true for Foster. “I’ve long wanted a Lucky Strike in San Francisco,” says the man who moved here in the 1960s to be part of the Haight Ashbury scene. “And I feel like this place fits the city.”

More news: