Check out this family-fun bakery and a bar and grill with mini-bowling lanes

Table talk

A family-run bakery, plus The Eleanor in Silver Spring

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Photo by Lindsey Max

Bowled Over

On a Thursday night in early March, my husband and I walk into The Eleanor, a bar and grill meets arcade and bowling lounge that opened on Silver Spring’s Ellsworth Drive in February. A cheerful host escorts us to one of five mini-bowling lanes for a one-hour session we reserved through the

Resy app, which charged a $10 per person lane fee to my credit card.
Adam Stein, 39, is the founder and managing partner of The Eleanor, whose other outpost opened in June 2018 in Washington’s NoMa neighborhood. “A lot of my friends in the last five years were getting married, leaving D.C. for Silver Spring and starting families,” Stein says. “When my broker showed me the location, I noticed people walking around all day, every day. And the [Regal Majestic] movie theater is one of the biggest in the region.”

The 7,700-square-foot space, which seats 165 but holds 300 (including in the large outdoor patio), is designed with adults in mind. Black walls, lipstick-red faux tin ceilings and dramatic frosted art deco pendant lights on a low setting contribute to a nightclub vibe. A large rectangular 20-tap bar with seating on all four sides is a focal point of the space. Arcade games—such as table hockey, arcade hoops, a wall-size Pac-Man (billed as the world’s largest) and pinball machines—are scattered throughout. (You activate games with a plastic card you purchase at a kiosk.)

The Eleanor in Silver Spring offers cocktails and a full menu along with five mini-bowling lanes. Photo by Lindsey Max

At the mini-bowling lanes (not duckpin bowling, Stein emphasizes, which requires much more space), we settle into faux leather black tufted hassocks and settees and start to play. A server takes our order. Stein, who is a chef, designed the food menu, which features raw bar items, lots of bar food snacks, sandwiches and full-fledged American bistro entrees. While we bowl, we sip excellent martinis and Manhattans and sup on sesame and soy glazed General Tso’s chicken wings, black bean nachos, steak frites with garlic butter and a lobster roll.

On the way home, we remark on the good time we just had at The Eleanor, not knowing yet that it will be one of our last nights out for a very long time as COVID-19 tightens its grip.

The Eleanor, 931 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring; 240-641-4955;

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