I went bowling at Deansgate’s Lane7 loved by Usain Bolt

Planning an activity-packed date for Valentine’s Day, or just fancy a long overdue trip out with friends? Lane7 on Deansgate is a one-stop fun filled floor with activities for everyone to enjoy.

Having opened in May 2021, Lane7 features a bowling alley with 11 lanes, as well as multiple arcade games, foosball, beer pong and darts to name but a few.

I booked my boyfriend and myself into the venue, based at the Great Northern Warehouse, for a game of bowling and some food, having seen that none other than Olympian Usain Bolt had visited just before Christmas.

We arrived slightly early to our allocated slot, so decided to spend the time with a game of tabletop football.

Lane7 is in the Great Northern Warehouse
Lane7 is in the Great Northern Warehouse

At first I panicked as, because of the pandemic, I’ve failed to carry cash anywhere for the last two years – but all of the machines accept contactless card payments, which is incredibly convenient.

The foosball table isn’t your traditional table with handles along the length of the table, keeping your team of players in neat rows.

Instead, players are scattered around the table with handles at either end, making for a much more intense game. I lost 3-2, twice – but football has never been my forte.

We moved onto air hockey, where my competitive partner, Jake, took me down six points to two, yet I remained in good spirits, as it wouldn’t be long before we were on the alley.

At 12.30pm, we were shown to our lane – one of two separated from the main lanes in a UV room filled with neon graffiti.

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Jake turned out to be the better bowler at Lane 7
Jake turned out to be the better bowler at Lane 7

There was a selection of bowling balls to choose from in the center console, and as I was up first, I opted for the lightest one before slinging it straight into the gutter and missing each of the 10 pins.

But undeterred, I tried again, this time tumbling a handful of pins as I readjusted my aim and swing.

Though I must say, in a nearly post-pandemic world, the thought of sticking your fingers into a bowling ball also being used by the team next to you was a little ick-inducing, so I was glad to have brought my hand sanitiser along with me to use between bowls.

Aiming for a strike at Lane7 in the UV room
Aiming for a strike at Lane7 in the UV room

I was pleased to see that Jake was just as awful at bowling as I was, guttering his first couple of throws too. But before long, we’d both got the hang of where to aim and I was soon consistently knocking over at least a few pins.

Mine and Jake’s scores were neck and neck until he scored a strike on his final bowl, clinching the win and reigning victorious in, well, everything.

Game over, we took on our favorite basketball arcade game, and another where you had to knock the clowns down with half a dozen red balls (harder than it looks, I assure you).

All the fun certainly saw us work up a hunger, so it was a good job that Fat Hippo’s first Manchester restaurant is located inside Lane7.

The burger joint serves up the biggest dirty burgers – the kind that really soak up a hangover – with other established venues in Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds.

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The Fat Hippo burger at Lane7, Deansgate
The Fat Hippo burger at Lane7, Deansgate

To share, Jake and I ordered a portion of dirty fries with bacon bits and ‘Fat Hippo’ sauce for £4.50, as well as a £13.50 Fat Hippo burger, consisting of a double patty, American cheese, smoked bacon, chorizo, two onion rings and more ‘Fat Hippo’ sauce, which I believe has paprika in it, adding a slight kick to your mammoth meal.

The burger was nearly the size of my head but was oh-so-delicious, washed down with a margarita from the fully licensed bar.

Also at Lane7 is a photo booth in a portaloo, karaoke booths which fit up to 14 people, as well as ping-pong, shuffleboard and shooting pods.

The venue is open seven days a week from Monday to Thursday 3pm until late, and Friday to Sunday 11am until late. It’s suitable for children, making it a great place to book for the upcoming February half term, but under 18s are not permitted after 7pm.

You can book into Deansgate’s Lane7 for yourself and experience the nostalgia, fun and food heaven for yourself here .


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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