First Place: Kent Lanes:
Kent Lanes is a bowling alley that creates a fun environment right as you walk in, not only with the bright paint and video game cabinets, but also with the staff relationships and music.
“We try to make it fun,” owner Jim Balmer said. “That’s what we promote. We promote a staff that’s nice and friendly, and we try to play music that everyone wants to hear while giving you your space to have fun with friends. It’s kind of our motto.”
Kent Lanes offers a variety of specials for customers under 21 years old, including eight dollar unlimited bowling Sunday through Thursday, which Balmer said could be contributing to the wide variety of customers they have.
“We see anyone from families and kids to grandmothers,” Balmer said. “The late night specials are geared toward college students. A large group can come here that’s under 21 or over 21 and there’s something for everyone.”
Second Place: Brewhouse
If you plan on making a trip to Brewhouse, you will likely hear it before you see it. Once the weekend hits, Brewhouse will likely be filled with people dancing and music spilling from the doors and windows.
As owner James Tribuzzo, Brewhouse is the only dance bar in Kent that allows patrons under the age of 21, which is something Brewhouse prides itself on.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” Tribuzzo said. “We have DJs, ... pool tables, darts and video games. We give the kids an opportunity to come here and hang out.”
Brewhouse provides an alternative to the everyday campus party or quiet night in and allows underage students an opportunity to let loose downtown.
Third Place: Kent Plaza Theaters
Although Kent Plaza Theaters might seem quiet and relaxed before going in, the movie theater offers a lot in terms of space and specials. The entryway alone is large with a wide concession counter, but when you walk down the hall there is an entirely different space for hanging out or hosting parties.
“It’s relaxed, and it feels different than if you go to a Cinemark or a Regal,” manager Jordan Manella said. “[Kent Plaza Theaters] wasn’t always a movie theater, so it has a different set up. Unique and calm is how people feel when they’re here.”
Although senior citizens make up a large part of the theater’s patrons, Manella said college students come in as a close second due to location and daily specials.
“It’s in just the right spot: it’s not far from campus but it’s not right on it either,” he said. “It’s cheaper, so, we have five dollar Mondays, and Student Night every Tuesday, so it’s cheaper. So instead of [a ticket] being $10, it would be $7.50.”
Contact Zaria Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.