Bayside Bowl - Portland, ME



Anchor (N) – The member of a bowling team most likely to bowl the highest score and take bowling so seriously that any jokes about them in this definition will probably earn the writer a verbal or physical altercation.


Approach (N) – The period of time between addressing the pins and releasing the ball when one has absolutely no control over their legs.


Beer Frame (N) – On a team of four bowlers, if three out of the four bowlers hit a strike in one frame, the bowler who did not get a strike must buy a pitcher of beer for the rest of the team i.e. blinding genius.


Bowl a 300 (N) – Bowling a strike every single frame (including three strikes in the last frame); an event which, like the wendigo, is rumored to exist but few, if any, have ever been seen.


Bowling (N) – A sport that every young man wishes impressed women more than it does.


Bowling Ball (N) – A polyurethane sphere with three, finger-sized holes capable of humiliating a person with great athletic talent and making a hero of someone with none.


Bumpers (N) – Ball-deflecting objects on the lane adjacent that mean tiny kids will be constantly dicking around in your peripheral vision, totally ruining any chance you had of bowling a good game.


Celebrate (V) – (to celebrate) to act elated, either earnestly after a good bowl or, most often, ironically, after you throw the ball in the gutter for like the eighth time.


Field Goal (N) – When, on the second bowl, you roll the ball perfectly between two pins, like an idiot, hitting none; witnesses are required to raise their arms in mock “it’s good” fashion.


Frame (N) – The smallest unit of time necessary to prove you suck/are amazing at bowling.


Friendly Competition (N) – In the context of bowling, this word is meaningless. See: Cutthroat Competition, Silent Car Ride Home, Relationship Counseling


Gutter (N) – twin vortexes lurking just beyond both edges of the lane; rumored to make a thin, siren-like wail that can only be heard during an important approach.


High Five (N) – A slapping motion of two or more hands made after every single shot for like the first four frames and then everybody stops unless you’re just crushing strikes and then everyone wants some hot five-age.


High-Pressure Situation (N) – A period of time in which you actually care about chucking a ball at ten pregnant-lady-shaped painted logs while the earth itself is nothing but a subatomic dot stranded in the vast reaches of an endless, undying universe.


Just One More (N) – (an idiom, regularly used in reference to an alcoholic beverage) a thousand more.


Lane (N) – An oblong rectangle of parallel, oiled boards that, if stepped on, will cause you to perform at least ¾ of a split and humiliate yourself no matter how you try to play it off.


Lane Etiquette (N) – the act of checking left and right — to make sure nobody is already in their approach on a lane adjacent — before bowling your ball; the best way to avoid a fight with an anchor.


Nice Shot (N) – An idiom used as a combination of solace/encouragement when one almost hits a crazy-difficult split. Like, seriously, almost nails it.


Pins (N) – Ten painted pieces of wood, arranged in a triangle at the end of the bowling lane, imbued with the malevolence of Satan.


Spare (N) – The act of knocking down all the remaining pins on the second bowl of a frame, usually accompanied by the phrase, “It should have been a strike.”


Spare Ball (N) – A secondary ball used specifically for bowling spares owned by a bowler by whom you will be so badly beaten that your enjoyment of bowling will be permanently diminished.


Split (N) – A situation in which, after the first bowl of a frame, at least two remaining non-adjacent pins can go fuck themselves.


Slip (V) – (to slip) An awkward, unexpected motion of the foot; the scapegoat for every single bad shot ever bowled.


Strike (N) – An act after which one is permitted to either A: jump, scream, howl, and dance or B: shrug, act angry, and mutter, “Jesus… finally…”


The Zone (N) –  Roughly three beers deep.


Tots (N) – A delicious, crispy, potato-y lane-side treat and specialty of the Bayside Bowl kitchen.


Turkey (N) – A situation — heralded by bowling three strikes in a row — in which it is somehow acceptable to shove your hands into your armpits and flap your truncated, wing-like elbows while gobbling. Alternately, a hand on top of the head in rough mimic of a cock’s comb is also acceptable. Teammates are required to celebrate this decision, no matter how oafish the gyrations appear.





Bowling alley fare this is not. Bayside knows their way around a lane and a kitchen. The standouts are the burgers and tater tots, with a solid burrito and many more options. And if you don’t think tots go well with bowling then you, my friend, are mistaken.


7-10 Split

Average prices for above average quality. Burgs/Sandwiches/Wraps run around $10. Also, Moosehead beer is so cheap it’s almost like they don’t add it to your bill, either that or I’m drunk.


No Country for Bowled Men

Nice, modern design makes for a rad, comfortable atmosphere that doesn’t get in the way of the main aim: bowling.


Five (star) Bagger

Seriously, the fine servers at Bayside are just excellent. Lane-side service, + they remember your tab + they are pleasant to be around. A++.



It’s a fine alley with great crowds and mighty grub. The real strikin’ deal.