The newly renovated Montrose Bowl embodies the merging of the past and the present.
By keeping intact the classic look of the original bowling alley, which opened in 1936, and incorporating a new fully vegan and kosher restaurant Never Caged, the simple joy of bowling — which never goes out of style — is met with an inclusive, modern dining experience.
Robert Grigoryan, owner of Never Caged, partnered with the Montrose Bowl about three years ago for this renovation process which was completed in late August. Grigoryan emphasized his desire to maintain the original vibe of the alley by keeping the same pink and teal color scheme, similar vintage-esque decor and timeless black-and-white checkered tile.
“Just the amount of history that’s in this place, we wanted to preserve it,” Grigoryan told the News-Press. “We wanted to keep that old, nostalgic look while giving it a facelift because it was kind of in a rough condition.”
Calling the Montrose Bowl “a gem to this community,” Grigoryan remembers having his own 8th birthday party at the iconic establishment. In addition to being well known in the Glendale community, the Montrose Bowl has garnered national attention being used as a set for films and TV shows such as “Pleasantville,” “Teen Wolf” and “The Ellen Show.”
Over the last 20 or so years, the Montrose Bowl has only been open for private events, but this revamp has brought back the chance for community members to rent a lane throughout the week — as long as the venue hasn’t been pre-booked for an event.
While Grigoryan previously had a flagship location in Los Angeles, he moved the Never Caged operation to the Montrose Bowl.
“I grew up here and this place is important to me,” he said. “I wanted to introduce vegan food to this area and show that it could be fun and really good, and not what everyone associates with vegan food.”
With everything made from scratch, Grigoryan said he takes pride in his food. Menu options include Impossible burgers, plant-based fried chicken sandwiches, loaded fries, pizza, mac and cheese and more.
The feedback, both surrounding the updated look of the Montrose Bowl and the addition of Never Caged, has been great, Grigoryan said.
With a 2 a.m. closing time from Thursday through Saturday, the Montrose Bowl is designed to draw in a younger nightlife crowd on weekends, serving a rotating selection of beer and wine, while still remaining a family friendly venue throughout the day and early evening.
Grigoryan is also working on creating a bowling league at the alley to bring the community together in the historic space.
First published in the September 30 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.