Vail has a new game in town
July 22, 2010
VAIL, Colorado – A loud, continuous hum floats on a wave of house music, periodically interrupted by the crash of bowling pins. It’s a Tuesday night and only the second week the place has been open, but despite a formal launch party, word of mouth has made Vail’s newest venue alive and buzzing.
Bol, a combination restaurant, bar and bowling alley, opened July 12 in the Solaris building in Vail Village. Barry Davis, the man who keeps the place in motion, said avoiding a grand opening was intentional. He didn’t want 600 people to show up to bowl the first night and leave feeling unsatisfied.
“We didn’t want to blow the opening,” Davis said. “We want people to have the right experience.”
Designed by Sharon Cohn, the interior decor of Bol is angular and modern, with mesh curtains dividing the space around the bowling lanes into more intimate sections, and the long, polished bar is lined with orange, molded bar stools.
“It’s like sitting in a punch bowl,” said Lindsey Jackson, of Vail.
Davis said the stand-out feature of the restaurant and bar is the service.
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“It’s like fantasy baseball,” Davis said, referring to the caliber of his staff. “The most amazing people came to work for us.”
An army of black-clad servers flittered about Tuesday night, straightening pillows around the bowling area and delivering everything from pitchers of beer and $3 cans of PBR to plates of spicy, honey-glazed ribs and steamed mussels. Chef Eric Wupperman’s menu ranges from a $5 plate of crispy, homemade potato chips served with garlic and parsley butter to a $30 Maine lobster personal pizza.
“We’ve taken all these world flavors that aren’t bowling food and made them bowling food,” Davis said.
As far as music, Davis said the collaborators at Bol are still trying to figure out what works in the space available. For now, Davis said they are aiming to have a lounge feel with DJs spinning on the weekends.
“(The space is) not ideal for live music,” Davis said, but that doesn’t mean Bol will have a lack of musical ambiance. “We have some pretty heavy-hitting DJs coming through.”
Davis said the previous building at the Solaris location, Crossroads, ran its course and that the new building, with its restaurants, retail and entertainment spots, will be good for Vail Village as a whole.
“We want to bring energy back to town,” Davis said. “When Crossroads was built, it was the center of town. Solaris can do that again.”