MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For 20 years now, Bryant Lake Bowl has been a popular date night spot in uptown Minneapolis.

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It’s part local restaurant, part bowling alley – a Twin Cities original.

“It’s still true you can’t be pretentious when you’re bowling or in a bowling alley,” Kim Bartmann said.

Two decades ago, Bartmann bought the bowling alley at the corner of Bryant and Lake in Uptown Minneapolis.

“When I first got here, people told me it was a very dangerous neighborhood,” Bartmann said. “And that I was crazy that I would want a restaurant in this neighborhood. Now there are restaurants all over this neighborhood.”

She wanted it to be a non-stuffy wine bar, but the city forced them to have a full menu.

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So they now serve huevos rancheros and a full breakfast, and they’re packed at lunch.

“When we first opened we didn’t want to serve burgers,” Bartmann said. “We wanted to sell organic greens. But we’re also serving burgers now and we sell a lot of burgers.”

The burgers have been grass-fed for a decade — way ahead of the curve. The fish is also responsibly sourced. That’s right, Sea Bass in a bowling alley.

The BLB Cheap Date Night is legendary: two entrees, a bottle of wine and a round of bowling for $28.

In 20 years, Bartmann hasn’t spared a thing. No question it’s the best food you’ll ever find in an alley.

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Bartmann now owns Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supper Club, Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet and Gigi’s Café.

Jason DeRusha