Q&A: Uptown Alley

October 7, 2019


Uptown Alley is fairly new to the city, but what you might not know is it was once the iconic Academy Lanes. This 43,000 square foot facility may not look anything like the original, but you will be happy to hear many of the bowling lanes were actually moved to the new space to play homage to the old lanes. How cool is that?

Uptown Alley will be hosting our November MeetUp on November 14. We chatted with Matt Di Ubaldo,
Group Sales & Marketing Specialist from Uptown Bowling to learn more about the business.

​1. So, Academy Lanes was on Academy St – we get that. What’s the story behind ‘Uptown Alley’? 
We just wanted to keep a bit of the essence of Academy Uptown Lanes. Since we had to drop the Academy from our name, we decided on Uptown Alley. A new name that still honours our legacy in Winnipeg.2. With Academy Lanes being a staple Winnipeg business for the past 35 years, what kept you successful?
Everything we do is focussed on customer satisfaction. It’s our business to make people happy! We treat people right, we’re open to their feedback, and we encourage everyone to have fun. We also invest in our team, and empower them to do their jobs well. That’s why you see so many positive reviews about our staff on social media and online.

3. Uptown Alley offers guests so much more than the typical bowling alley – with the full-kitchen bistro, arcades, and even laser tag. Where did the concept come from?

The business model we adopted has proven successful in the US for years. We wanted to emulate that for Winnipeggers. It allows us to offer a full suite of services for corporate events AND families. You can have a full banquet dinner and your entertainment in one place. It’s also an excellent place for families to come. Parents and kids can play together at Uptown Alley, whether it’s bowling, laser tag or arcade games. Everyone who comes to play leaves with a smile from ear-to-ear!

4.  Let’s talk about Uptown Alley’s impressive bistro menu. Why the emphasis on quality food for a bowling alley?
While the business model proved successful in the US, we saw the menu and bistro as a way to elevate that. We still offer a lot of the foods you’d expect at a bowling alley, but with more and more corporate groups booking with us, we thought we should expand our banquet options. So now you can bowl and eat an amazing prime rib dinner all in one place! Or you can book your event in the dead of winter and enjoy our backyard cookout banquet, without having anyone stand outside in February barbecuing!

Another benefit of the menu is that we offer cultural dishes that reflect the diversity and tastes of our city. We’ve got beef tapa, spicy Thai chicken pizza and sliders just to name a few. There are a variety of wraps and salads for those looking for a healthier meal. And we accommodate all food sensitivities!

It’s all about wowing our customers. And we want them to know they don’t have to come bowling to enjoy the food. The bistro operates as a restaurant, fully staffed and licensed. Come for lunch, stop by to watch the hockey or football game and treat yourself.

5. What’s are the staff’s top 3 favourite picks for arcade games?
The arcade is really popular! The staff picks are definitely the Connect 4 Hoops game, MarioKart and the classic Skeeball game you’ve been playing at carnivals for decades. And of course the laser tag!

Member MeetUp
@ Uptown AlleyThursday, November 14
Uptown Alley (1301 St. Matthews Ave.)
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m