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Fifth Arrow

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Good things can come from unexpected places, like Bryan Cranston landing an audition for Breaking Bad because of an obscure role on The X Files, or that time you found love in a hopeless place. That’s kind of how we feel about Fifth Arrow too. It’s a small bowling alley in Union Square that’s also a bar and restaurant, and while no one has ever been excited about eating at a bowling alley, the food at Fifth Arrow makes it an exception.

Fifth Arrow is next to August Hall, so coming here before a concert for drinks is a good idea, but if you forgot to buy tickets for whoever is playing, you can also just spend your night here and have a pretty good time. There’s a big bar and plenty of space/tables to sit and talk without feeling like another group is on top of you. There are bowling lanes (three of them to be precise), and you can reserve them ahead of time, but at $55 an hour per lane, it might not be worth it unless you just sold your company.

Cocktails in a normal bowling alley could probably also be used to strip the grease off the lanes, but here they’re good enough to be served in a stand-alone cocktail bar, and only cost around $12. If you don’t want a cocktail, drafts hover around $6, and like most bowling alleys, you can get a beer and a shot here for $5 at all times. As for the food, the pizza is better than some that we’ve had in actual pizza places in SF. The sauce isn’t life changing, but the crust is legitimately good enough that on a random night you might think, “I wonder if they deliver.”

Fifth Arrow is far from the bowling alleys full of heat-lamp nachos and disinfectant shoe spray that you may be too familiar with. Instead, it’s a cool place to come catch up with friends after work, before a concert, or on a random night when you realize that you haven’t seen everyone in a while. Whether you’re bowling, watching a game on TV, or dropping Breaking Bad trivia on your friends who never asked for it, you’re going to have good time here.

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