they've got a lot of toys

Palatial bowling-focused entertainment destination rolls out big Houston opening

Palatial Bellaire bowling entertainment destination rolls out big open

Palace Social bowling lanes
Palace Social has eight lanes. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social burger
The Palace Social burger. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social virtual reality
Experience virtual reality. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Palace Social pizza trio
A selection of pizzas. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social arcade
A look at the arcade. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social golf simulator
Play golf in the simulator. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Palace Social tempura hot dog
Tempura-fried hot dog. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social entrance
Welcome to Palace Social. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social esports lounge
The esports lounge. Photo by Barry Fantich
Palace Social bowling lanes
Palace Social burger
Palace Social virtual reality
Palace Social pizza trio
Palace Social arcade
Palace Social golf simulator
Palace Social tempura hot dog
Palace Social entrance
Palace Social esports lounge

Houston's newest entertainment destination has arrived. Palace Social officially opens for evening service on Monday, July 12 (4191 Bellaire Blvd.).

First announced last year, the 27,000-square-foot venue offers a retro-styled refresh to the classic Palace Bowling Lanes. Eight bowling lanes offer a starting point of the fun to be had, but this destination has been optimized for 21st century digital boys and girls of all ages. 

Play more than 50 arcade games that range from classics like skee-ball and pop-a-shot to brightly colored shooters with 4K screens. Experience virtual reality or try the 16-seat XD Dark Ride Theater that offers 3D graphics and interactive gameplay, according to a release. A 22-seat esports lounge provides an in-person venue for online combat, while two simulator bays allow patrons to test their skills swinging a golf club, baseball bat, or other sports scenario. 

Feeling festive? Palace Social offers three karaoke-ready private rooms for groups of different sizes.

“After months of inspired planning and preparation, the day has finally arrived for us to welcome a brand-new generation of gamers, foodies, friends, family and fun-seekers to Palace Social,” CEO Billy Forney said in a statement. “This couldn’t have been made possible without the collaborative spirit of some of the best minds in the hospitality, design, and food and beverage industries as well as our community investors that wholeheartedly believed in filling the void in A-list entertainment options in the area. We couldn’t be more thrilled to share our exciting new vision.”

For the dining portion, those best minds consisted of chef Ryan Hildebrand (Triniti, FM Kitchen) and consultant Jonathan Horowitz (Ninfa's, Treebeards). Palace Social's 159-seat restaurant and lounge features a Southern-inspired menu that's executed by chef Efrain Villareal (Tony’s Mexican Kitchen). Pair them with wine, beer, or cocktails from beverage director Jennifer Caldwell (Goodnight Charlie's). 

“Palace Social is definitely not yesterday’s bowling alley canteen experience,” Hildebrand said in May. “Our menu is loaded with elevated comfort food and gourmet shareables, a mix of southern regional classics and all-American fare that draws on the history of Palace Lanes while attracting a new generation of diners looking for a great meal in addition to the fun attractions.” 

Palace Social joins Dish Society in the Southside Commons mixed-use development. Hours are Monday-Thursday 3-10 pm and 3 pm-midnight Friday and Saturday. Lunch and brunch service will follow in the coming weeks.