I’ve been to a number of corporate events over the years—outings, parties, team-building workshops and the like, and they’ve all been pretty fun. Recently, though, Dan’s Papers held an Office Appreciation Party at The All Star in Riverhead, and it definitely raised the bar.
I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about attending an office party at a bowling alley. After all it’s one thing to say you’re a terrible bowler, but it’s another to prove it in front of all your coworkers. I’m a good sport, though, so I strapped on my bowling-shoes and strode into the VIP area where our event was being held. That’s right—The All Star has a separate six-lane bowling alley that you can rent for events, and they keep very busy.
“We typically do kids birthday parties, adult birthday parties, fundraisers, corporate events, holiday events, bachelor and bachelorette parties,” said events sales manager Johanna Chester. “Any kind of event out there, we do it.”
Our group, of about 30 people, fit in the VIP area with room to spare, but The All Star can accommodate just about any size party. “The minimum for any party is eight, for our packages, but you can come in and rent an individual lane,” Chester said. “You could rent the whole place out if you wanted to. We can get 250 bowlers in here.”
The All Star offers a variety of different packages, depending on the type of event, the number of people and the menu you’d like, and there are a number of amenities and activities you can choose from for your party. “We do have some set packages, but we can customize menu and packages for pretty much anyone,” Chester said. “We have a 43-game arcade room that people can add on as an option, we also have a billiards table in our VIP area. With our bowling, we have black lights and music videos, automatic bumpers that we can program by name, and we have our big, stadium restaurant with a full bar.”
While bowling was fun, the highlight for me, as always, was the food. When I arrived, I was greeted by an amazing spread of salads, veggies, chips and dip and an open bar, and throughout the evening the food only got better. The food for our event was served buffet-style and featured pizza, sliders, penne a la vodka and fried mac and cheese—I couldn’t stop myself from eating. “We typically offer bar fare for a menu, which is the wings, sliders and pizzas, but we also have more of a cocktail menu where we do appetizers that are a little more elaborate,” Chester said. “The greatest part is that people can stick to more of a buffet style menu, or they can get entrée items, like salads and pasta, up to beef tenderloin and salmon.” We were also treated to a delicious chocolate fondue dessert tray that had all sorts of things to dip—strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pretzels and I’m not kidding here—bacon.
As impressed as I was by the food, I can’t say enough about the service. The staff was friendly, professional and attentive throughout the evening. They made sure there was never a shortage of food or drinks, and the dishes were cleared promptly. But great food and service don’t amount to much without atmosphere. Luckily The All Star had nothing to worry about. I found the entire place to be neat and clean, the lighting was dim, but not dark, and the music throughout the event was kept at a pleasant volume, with a good selection of songs and artists.
The All Star can book an event any time right from their website. “If they do the online registration, we’ll get back to them right away, or they can call the main number,” Chester said. “A lot of people book things up to a month ahead, and some people book last minute. We’re usually able to accommodate, even the week of.”
While I’m still not much of a bowler, it’s safe to say, I’ll never turn down an invite to The All Star in Riverhead.
For more information, or to book an event, visit theallstar.com.