The official word of a North Bowl offshoot in South Philly came out in the winter of 2013, but the rumors of the project date back much farther — so you'd be forgiven if you'd stopped giving the complex at Front and Oregon much thought. But here are some Instagram updates, caught by Philly Mag's Property blog, that should put it back front-and-center in your mind. The snaps show significant progress — from tilework to actual bowling lanes to a roof deck — from inside the project.
There's still no word on an opening date, or many more details to be had just yet. The North Bowl Facebook page says only that South Bowl will be open "sooner than you think," punctuated with an enigmatic winky face.
There were some updates back in March of this year about exterior work being done, and a subsequent post from realtor Michael Angelina showed some early interior shots — including the bar, which was going by the name the Thirsty Bowler. Since then, it's been very quiet. It was news enough when the @southbowlphilly Instagram account was locked in this fall, presumably meaning they'd settled on that as the official name. (The "South Bowl" moniker was supposedly coined by the Passyunk Post in the early stages of reporting, but the owners had been reticent to commit.)
As with North Bowl, this new (and even larger) complex has promised a lot of attractions in addition to bowling: Entertainment options were said to include an arcade, roof deck, a bar and restaurant, and more. As far as the food goes, owner Oron Daskal told Michael Klein early on to expect something different from North Bowl's offerings, perhaps involving a wood-fired oven.
South Bowl, 19 E. Oregon Ave., opening 2015.