Ever have those days where it feels like you've done everything there is to do in town? Well, think again. The Fowling Warehouse™ Grand Rapids offers an exciting activity for a night out, in addition to an experience you can only enjoy in two places in all of Michigan. West Michigan Woman sat down with Fowling Warehouse™ Grand Rapids owner, Lala Sullivan, to learn more about the sport and what makes the attraction a truly unique excursion.
You may be wondering: What exactly is Fowling™?
"Fowling™ is the original football bowling pin game!" Sullivan explained. "It's a combination of elements of football, bowling and horseshoes. Team A is trying to knock down all their pins before Team B does. One football, back and forth. That's it at its simplest."
Though there is a no defense rule on your own lane, you can play defense for the lanes next to you.
"And if you get the middle pin down and off the board on your first throw of the game, it's called a BONK and you win!" Sullivan said. "You also get to blow the freighter horn called the BONK HONK to celebrate!"
Believe us, it's loud, so you'll know when someone is lucky enough to get one.
So, how did this interesting sport that keeps you on your toes get started? It all started with some friends going camping.
"Fowling™ was created by Chris Hutt and a group of friends at their campsite 20 years ago at the Indy 500," Sullivan said. "Chris took our game to every park, bar, sports game and building that would have us over the next 10 years. Chris then formed a club at an old toy warehouse in Detroit."
Hutt took the leap and leased a building in Hamtramck, Michigan, which turned out to be the first official Fowling Warehouse™!
"I'm a Fowler since day one and it's been a blast to see its growth and how people have reacted to the fun that Fowling™ brings," Sullivan said, adding that whether you come with one friend or 100, you'll always hear the cheers and celebration when those pins get knocked down. "It's such a great atmosphere to be in. We always say that anyone can play the game of Fowling™. It doesn't matter if you're athletic or played sports before. Underhand or overhand throw—it doesn't matter! It's a place where you can do an activity, eat, drink and socialize all at once."
Because Fowling Warehouse™ has 45,000 square feet of space, opportunities for parties and fundraisers abound.
"We can accommodate groups of 2 to 500 and do many corporate and team building events, bachelor and bachelorette parties, diaper parties, kid's birthdays, and more," said Sullivan. "Any reason you have to bring a group of people together, we can accommodate. We offer really great per-head fundraising costs, and our large space allows organizations to go for maximum fundraising money. We've got plenty of tables, seating and buffet tables to help you set up your area with food and goodies for your guests and auction items."
Feeling like something a little more intimate is more your speed? They also offer private lane reservations for up to 10 people per lane for two hours. Didn't plan ahead? You're in luck: There's always unlimited walk-in open play for only $10 a person.
"Like a pool hall, you find a lane and play—winners stay, losers walk to find another lane," Sullivan said, noting this is a good option for groups smaller than 10. "We like to say that we are industrial strength fun at a great value."
Another unique aspect of the Fowling Warehouse™ is a selection of over 100 different beers. You could also take a chance with their $2 Mystery Beer Machine™, which is exactly what it sounds like. And for those looking to chow down in between games, you can bring your own food in or have it delivered.
"It's a great way to socialize and be active, all at once!" said Sullivan, noting that Sunday evenings from 6 -10 p.m. is half off open play and all drinks.
The team at The Fowling Warehouse™ is undeniably a factor in making it the supremely cool place that it is.
"I love that our team is all about the guest experience and take such pride in what they do," Sullivan said. "We take pride in the fact that people recommend us and want to bring other people in for the same great experience they had. People are coming in to have fun and be with their friends and families, and we love being a part of that fun."
If that wasn't enough, the destination is now the only place in the country (outside of an NFL and college training facility) that has MMQB—a quarterback drill that's a mixed reality football experience where guests can throw a real football in a virtual world.
"You put on the virtual headset and try to throw completions to get your team down the field," Sullivan explained. "It turns out to be a five to seven-minute experience and we're pleased to say that it will be open on the weekend starting in mid-August. We'll also reserve this experience for an hour for up to five people at a time to ensure adequate play time for each person."
To learn more, check out fowlingwarehouse.com and head to the Grand Rapids page.
Courtesy of Fowling Warehouse™ Grand Rapids.