Dale Schwartz spent years working in the financial and pharmaceutical sector, but always dreamed of opening a bowling alley. In 2006, the dad of three young kids launched Pinstripes, which is everything you *don’t* expect from a bowling alley – gorgeous design, gourmet food, Bocce, and a best in class party planning team ready to plan a party for a 3-year-old or a 33-year-old. Did we mention they have a bottomless brunch that will rival any you went to pre-kids?
Today they have 13 locations, with plans to open six more this year. We spoke to Dale about his own family’s Pinstripes favorites, why the pandemic bolstered their business, and more.
For anyone not familiar, how would you describe Pinstripes?
We describe it as a best in class entertaining and dining concept. We go back to the future – a quality community environment where people can connect, despite technology. We have extraordinarily high quality food, bowling and bocce, and we do over 1,000 private events a year. All of our locations are close to 35,000 square feet. A lot of what we do is celebrations. Whether it’s coming in for brunch, lunch or dinner, a common theme is celebrating.
Sounds fabulous! Can you please tell us a bit about your family and what they love about Pinstripes?
I have a 7-year-old, Ben, a 6-year-old, Victor, and soon to be 4-year-old, Mia. My wife Yamila is a yoga instructor. We’re a very family-oriented venue and my kids love bowling as well as bocce, and they also love the attention they get when I bring them into the kitchen to try the gelato. Of course, like all children, they love our chicken tenders and pizzas. We do a fun New Year’s Eve party for kids with an 8 pm early balloon drop. My kids are constantly going to birthday parties for their friends at Pinstripes. I’m from Cleveland originally and we have a location there, so they also enjoy seeing my mom and my sister. Our family lives in Glencoe, Illinois, outside of Chicago.
You’ve been expanding rapidly since the pandemic. How did the last few years cement your business model?
The pandemic did a few things for us. It reinforced our view that people need and want to connect. There are certainly advantages to Zoom and technology, but there clearly was a pent up demand to get together and spend quality time with one another. As a result of flexible or hybrid working situations there was a void in socialization, and most of our locations are in the suburbs, so we’re benefiting from those trends. Both consumers and employees are coming to Pinstripes and seeing it as a terrific place to get together.
Wonderful! What does Pinstripes have that no other entertainment space does?
The quality, design and ambiance is extraordinarily high. Pinstripes is more analogous to a Four Seasons hotel than one’s stereotypical view of a bowling alley. It’s Napa Valley meets Tuscany, with a rustic, beautiful design. We have an extremely strong team and high level of service. And we’re a from-scratch kitchen with handmade cocktails and craft beer. Finally, it’s just a really fun, celebratory atmosphere with activities for three generations.
Sounds amazing. What’s next for Pinstripes?
We’ll continue to improve and fine tune what we’re doing at all of our locations and in parallel with that in the next few years, we’ll continue to open locations all around the country. This year we’re opening three locations in Florida – Coral Gables, Aventura Mall and Orlando. We’re opening Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, Walnut Creek, Oakland and Thousand Oaks, CA. We go where there is community and families.
To make a reservation, find a Pinstripes near you by going to pinstripes.com. For the month of February, when mentioning LocalMoms, guests will receive a complimentary appetizer. This will be valid for dine-in only and not combinable with other offers.
This story is sponsored by Pinstripes.