Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 24 October 2020
LEICESTER’S newest bowling alley and ping-pong venue, Lane7, who also host plenty more leisure activities, have officially opened their doors to the public today.
The bowling alley has taken over Leicester’s former Great Central railway station in the city centre, which has been completely revamped after undergoing renovation and refurbishment works for just over a year.
The Hinckley Free Press were lucky enough to be invited a day early into the new complex by Leicester’s award-winning ‘What’s On’ digital magazine, Cool As Leicester.
All four of us who attended were issued one free drink each – I opted for a Kopparberg Strawberries and Lime, Vaughan, our Nuneaton Reporter had a Brewdog Elvis Juice.
Our two guests for the evening, Bradley and Jamie, both had an alcoholic Haribo-mixed Slush Puppy.
Other alcoholic drinks available on the drinks menu included Birra Moretti, Amstel, and Heineken.
Our group of four had taken part in a game of shuffleboard, and the arcade style-basketball, and the main attraction – bowling.
We played a total of two shuffleboard games – both of which myself, and Vaughan lost to Jamie and Bradley. We played just the one game of bowling on the first floor of the complex, where we also lost, but had a fantastic time regardless.
I found that whilst I wasn’t the best at bowling, the game went fine. We had no technical issues with any of the lanes, and it was fascinating to watch the ball run down the side of the conveyor belt back into the ball dispenser ready to be used again.
Hand sanitising stations have been set up alongside NHS Track and Trace QR Codes inside of the venue.
For those who are not carrying cash amidst the coronavirus pandemic, fear not as the venue support contactless card payments and digital card payments, like Google and Apple Pay.
Vaughan and I used the ‘Photaloo’ – a photo booth which is styled as a repurposed portaloo. It costs four pound for four photos inside, which makes it a pound per photo on the strip.
Venue Manager comments
Adam, the General Manager of Lane7 Leicester, said: “We’ve got around 80 to 100 Keller benches from Germany.
“We have seven bars all with different offerings. There are 11 bowling alleys in total, with six on the ground floor and five on the first floor. We love listed buildings and it brings money into the economy.
“There’s nothing like this is around, and we are family friendly. As well as the attractions – I like the monitor. I really enjoy American football, so being able to watch it like this on a monitor this big is incredible.
“Our monitor is about the same as large venues use, like a jumbotron. It is built up of lots of LED modules in place meaning our quality is high-definition on a grand scale.”
“We’re somewhere that has shuffleboard, beer pong, ping pong as well as just bowling. We’ve even placed lots of hidden things around for our visitors to find. One photo booth is obviously placed in plain sight, whilst the other is not.”
Hinckley Free Press’ invitee’s comment
Bradley Moore, who visited with The Hinckley Free Press, said: “I was firstly impressed by the architecture of the old train station and even more so when I entered and had found the building sports a modern interior, which anyone would enjoy.
“Lane7 has a wide range of refreshments and drinks to offer. The staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and were more than happy to answer any questions or requests that we had for them.
“I was intrigued to find that the bowling alley stretch to two floors with five lanes I believe on both floors.
“Our game of bowling ran smoothly with no faults or system failures with bowling pins etc, unlike regular bowling alleys that I have visited in the past.
“There were also other games on offer, including retro arcade games, basketball mini games, and shuffleboard, which made for an enjoyable experience.
“The giant projector showing sports was excellent and would be great when an important sporting fixture was taking place.”
Jamie, who also visited with The Hinckley Free Press, said: “I liked how we were treated. All of the staff gave a positive impression. I liked the way that they’ve produced it differently compared to other bowling alleys that I’ve visited.
“It’s modern with a good audience. There’s a lot to do with a variety of activities. Others solely going for a game of bowling may not know what else is on offer there, like shuffleboard.
“We played a game of shuffleboard ourselves. It was a challenging activity. People may be enticed to play a game of it, as they may not have before, so that’s a selling point for Lane7.
“Kids have the arcades to enjoy whilst the adults have beer pong, ping pong, shuffleboard, air hockey, and bowling.
“I found Lane7 unique. No other bowling alley I have ever been to has had bowling alleys on two different floors.”
Under-18s are not permitted inside of the venue after 7pm. Bumpers and ramps are available for those who need them. Bar tabs are available on request, just speak to the bar staff. Lane7 is wheelchair accessible.
A game of bowling during the peak hours will cost £9.95 per person, per hour, off-peak the same game would only be £8. For kids and those with NUS cards, the price is only £6.
Beer pong and ping pong
A table for a game of beer pong is £2.50 per game per hour, however beer pong packages are available. A half-hour game of ping pong costs £7, with a full hour costing £12.
Golf and pool
A game of golf costs £9.95 during peak hours and £8.00 during off-peak hours. A game of pool is only £12 for an hour.