Thursday, 9 October 2014

Roxy Lanes - Leeds





Typing in to google 'Roxy Lanes' my phone ever so eloquently corrected it to 'Roxy Lames'.

Clearly google has sixth sense of sorts.

Roxy Lanes is the sister bar to Roxy Ball Rooms (that Ping pong and pool bar on commercial street). I had previously been invited to their press opening so I could sample the food. Only to find the kitchen wouldn't be opened for another few months. As a food blogger I had felt that this could have been notified to me in advance to save me wasting my time. 

Anyway I digress as this post is about Lanes not Ball Room. 


A group of us decided to do something a little different for a birthday night out, rather than the standard food and cocktails. Food, drink and bowling seemed like a good alternative. We booked in advance for 8 people and paid a £80 deposit. We told if there were any amendments that we were to call in and let them know...

We tried this the phone just rang out.

When we arrived they told us the £20 for the two who couldn't make it couldn't be refunded, we then explained we tried to call in advance and the phone just rang out. The girl behind the counter repeated it couldn't be refunded and smiled at us as if that was all okay. We then asked the guy beside her who laughed and said "yeah we were really busy yesterday" but we can take it off your bill for drinks. 

The whole night continued like this... An uphill struggle. 

We couldn't hear what the girl was saying to us from behind the counter as the music was too loud and her voice too soft. Nothing was explained to us about how we were to start bowling or what we needed to do in terms of our food and drink (we signed up for the £20 pizza drink and game of bowling deal). We were told a credit card needed to be left behind the till for our food and drink... Even though we wanted to pay for our deal there and then and buy any following drinks from the bar.We were told a tab would be needed no exceptions. Just to make things more complicated for a large group who were going to split the bill at the end. 

We asked what we needed to about our food and we were told we could eat at the bowling alley or at the tables after we had finished bowling... With our slot booked for 8.30pm we decided to eat and bowl. We were told someone would be up to take our orders for drinks. 

We made our way up to the lanes (which are shorter than those you find in other standard bowling alleys) and our names were already orderd on to the screen above. 

After the caffuffle at the beginning we were dying for drinks... Two escaped to the bar to buy drinks as they hadn't heard we were told to put it on the tab. The rest of us had to wait a good 15 minutes before the waitress turned up. Not being at the bar or even had chance to visit the bar we had no idea what we could order and had to ask the waitress who had no idea giving the excuse "I'm new". Cue us running to the bar taking a look and running back so she could take our order. This was getting exhausting and we'd only bowled one go each. 

We carried on bowling but started to become conscious of time and the fact that we hadn't yet eaten. Once our drinks arrived the waitress went away again and returned later with menus... Later again our orders were taken... We had been there around 45 minutes by this point.  

When our starters arrived we pushed the tables together so everyone wasn't manoeuvring round each other to eat and bowl... This didn't really work and a shake of a table and a pint was on the floor. Someone came over to 'sweep' up the mess but didn't mop it up... This left our bowling shoes slipping to walk in and the bowling alley floor boards rather dirty. 'Top tip': beer doesn't sweep up, it mops up and swinging bowling balls with wet feet is a health and safety claim waiting to happen. 

For my starter I ordered the olives and breadsticks... It came with four breadsticks and garlic mayo and a whole jar of olives... That tasted like they had salt on them? Olives are salty enough you don't need more salt.


Other starters included meatballs (hard to eat whilst intermittently bowling), garlic bread, hummus which came with bread to dip in to... If the hummus hadn't already been placed on top of it. 

After our starters we noticed our hour was almost up... So we decided to pay for an additional hour so we could eat our pizzas and get a good game in... This cost £40, for the six of us this worked out at £5 each which we justified wasn't too bad. Had there been less I'm not so sure I could have justified it quite so easily. 

Next up came the mains. We counted the mains and there was 5... One was missing. We enquired as to where this was and were met with a confused look. Someone went away came back and confirmed it was missing - erm yeah... that's what we said -  it would be 5 minutes. 

It wasn't 5 minutes and poor D was sat watching us all eat our pizzas and burgers.

The pizzas weren't cut in the traditional middle to edge way but instead straight across in to an uneven slices way... 'Top tip': pizzas are all generally cut in the same way as this is the easiest way to eat them with your hands. 

By this point it was late, I'd had three pints and a ginger beer (minus half that had fallen on the floor) a jar full of olives and some exertive ball throwing, so I struggled to eat my pizza. I tried my best and managed approximately half. It wasn't the best pizza I've had, it wasn't the worst. The crust wasn't very crispy and there was an all mighty amount of cheese on it. 

Our extra hour finished three throws in to our third game, there was no one else waiting to take our lane. It would have probably have made good business sense to just let us finish as we would have probably ordered more drinks. Not wanting to pay for a further hour we decided to leave...


Trying to pay was another mountain to climb. D had already paid the £80 deposit so we then had to work out how much everyone owed him and add that to what remained on the tab. Despite being drunk we managed it. We gave the cashier our cards and D had some money handed back to him from one member of our group... The cashier couldn't take away the first amount from the total amount and we ended up having to tell her what she needed to credit to the next and last card. There were only two card payments and no cash payments... You would have thought this to be simple. 

We walked away having settled the bill... Only because D had left his card behind the till for the tab and didn't need to pay anything at the end having already shelled out £80 for the deposit we walked away without his card... Thus meaning we had to return the next day to pick it up.



What a mess. What a stress.

I felt incredibly sorry for D who spent most of the night panicked and confused about what we were meant to do and all he wanted to do was create a great birthday night for his best mate. 

Fair to say I probably won't return.



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