With new rooms, new technology and new games, the family-owned Strikz Entertainment is a “far cry” from when it first opened in April 2005, owner Neil Farren said.

“The community has changed, and we have changed,” Farren said.

At Strikz, one aspect of keeping up with a changing community meant adding virtual reality to the bowling lanes. Projections of animated characters and numbers tracking points now light up the wooden lanes, offering players minigames to take on during the game itself.

Relatively newer arcade games, a digital tic-tac-toe projection for axe throwing, and separate rooms for birthday parties and events are also markers of Strikz adapting to customers’ wishes, Farren said.

“We've completely gutted the interior in the [past] 13 years,” Farren said.

The most recent renovations, which included adding new bowling scoring systems and new arcade games, were completed in 2022, and plans to update the exterior of the building are next, Farren said.

Besides the physical space, even bowling itself has seen changes over the years, Farren said.

“It's really evolved from a sport of bowling back in the old days, a ‘bowling alley,’ to where we still have bowling, but the arcade is very strong in food and beverage,” Farren said.

Looking strictly at the profits from Strikz shows bowling, the games section, and food and beverages sales all currently make up the same one-third share, Farren said.

“In the old days, it was 85% bowling,” Farren said.

Farren has firsthand knowledge of how bowling alleys have gradually changed over the years.

“My dad was a bowling mechanic,” Farren said. “I was raised in the back of a bowling alley in Indianapolis, and then after college one of my job opportunities was to work for Brunswick, bowling and billiards, and a bunch of other things.”

Farren spent 25 years in the “corporate world” watching bowling shift to entertainment before the opportunity to open Strikz came along, Farren said. Since opening, all of Farren’s six children worked for him at Strikz before going off to college and their respective careers.

“I was able to work as a child with my dad in the back of the bowling alley, and I have good memories of that, and then having them here, ... it was fun,” Farren said.

Throughout the changes to bowling and entertainment, some regulars have been consistently bowling at Strikz multiple times a week, 48 weeks a year since the day it first opened, Farren said.

“We're here for the community,” Farren said. “That's really it.”

Strikz Entertainment

8789 Lebanon Road, Frisco



Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 10-1 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-midnight

Here is some lingo to learn for new bowlers:
  • Strike: All of the pins have been knocked down on the first ball roll, marked with an X.
  • Spare: All of the pins have been knocked down during the second ball of a frame, marked with a /.
  • Gutter: The ball was rolled into one of the gutters and did not hit any pins. Hitting no pins is marked with a -.
  • Turkey: The player rolled three strikes in a row.
  • Split: The first ball of a frame knocks down the front pin but left standing two or more nonadjacent groups of one or more pins. It can be marked with an S.
    • Scoring a spare in this situation is often referred to as a “killer shot.”
  • Perfect game: The player scored 300 points in one game, all strikes.

Editor's note: The original story has been updated to correct an error. All six of the owner's children worked at Strikz Entertainment at one point