Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Dickey’s Lanes (10.04.08)
If you have never seen a complete scale model of a bowling alley made out of matchsticks, then you are missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity* and the chance to visit one of Cleveland’s coolest “old-man” bars–Dickey’s Lanes (3275 W 25). Run by a father and two sons with a love of Canadian Club (George, Greg and Guy), Dickey’s Lanes on West 25th is a living testament to a Cleveland I think is quickly fading.
I could not believe I had never been there. My gal Bonnie suggested the stop. We were both thirsty after a day of thrifting and she thought Dickey’s was just the place to fill our need for a low-key beverage. We walked in and instantly felt like part of the family.
The bar was dark, the beer was cold and the smell of homemade lasagna filled the air. A steady crowd of regulars wandered in right after 5pm to roll a few frames. Banter was free and easy and George was more than happy to turn on the light that displays the matchstick model of a bowling alley…his bowling alley, complete with balls and pins carved from matches! I was speechless. George quickly explained that his friend had a lot of time on his hands and all I could do was nod in agreement. Guy sat down, bought us a drink and explained plans for his new lunch menu while Greg busied himself getting his gear ready to bowl. (Two separate signs on the wall announced that he has rolled 300 games.)
We could easily have stayed all night, but for once better judgment prevailed and as we put our jackets and prepared to face a modern-day Cleveland again, Guy suggested that we come back to bowl in the near future. “Two dollars a game,” he said. “That’s the best deal in town.” He had no idea how right he was.–CH
(* Actually, for me it is a twice-in-a-lifetime thing. I saw a complete scale model of the Lusitania built from matches, but that was in Baltimore and in a museum dedicated to art created by the not-always sane.)