From duckpin bowling to a unique menu, the brewery’s entertainment venue comes together


MUSKEGON, MI – One building, three different experiences, unlimited bliss: That’s the goal with downtown Muskegon’s soon-to-be newest form of entertainment.

The entertainment venue from the owners of Pigeon Hill Brewing Company will bring duckpin bowling, oversized yard games, drinks and dining, darts, and pinball all under the same roof in downtown Muskegon.

In late April, the owners of Pigeon Hill Brewing Company announced their plans to open a new attraction, Socibowl, along West Western Avenue. They told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle that the construction work is still on track so Socibowl can open in the fall.

“The experience we’re trying to create here is similar to what we were seeing in big cities,” said Michael Brower, co-founder and director of sales and marketing at Pigeon Hill. “But, we didn’t want to just take something that someone had already done in a big city and plop it into Muskegon.

“We wanted to take that idea and adapt it, and make it for Muskegon,” he added.

Brower recently gave MLive/Muskegon Chronicle a behind-the-scenes look of Socibowl’s establishment and the progress made, inside and outside of the building, over the last few months.

Standing at the entrance at 411 W. Western Avenue, the outdoor seating area – which will feature a bar area – is expected to seat 70-80 people when completed, Brower said. He called it a great fit for the city’s social district, where people can grab a drink and walk among the district’s designated area.

Steve Kocher, owner of Fresh Look Painting, Twin Lake, was busy Thursday, July 21, putting on some final touches on portions of the outside of the building.

Setting foot into Socibowl, people will be greeted with their first potential experience: the bar area.

“We’ve divided it into three spaces. It’s such a big area, we wanted to potentially make it three different experiences,” Brower said.

Although still under construction, the bar, designed by Brower, will feature a variety of drinks, including those brewed by Pigeon Hill Brewing Company. It’s one of the many areas to socialize with your friends, Brower said.

Brower, along with cofounders Joel Kamp and Chad Doane, first opened Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Muskegon, in 2014. Eight years later, Brower said opening another new establishment is a little “terrifying,” but that’s expected.

“The fact this is so far outside the realm of anything we’ve done before, you have to have a healthy dose of fear,” he said. “If you don’t, you’ll just let things slide.”

Once customers have grabbed their drinks from the bar, they can walk one of two ways, the first being the dining area. Brower said menu options are still in the discussion phase, but he would like to offer some types of Mediterranean foods.

“We want to have different foods,” he said, standing in the building’s bare kitchen. “We don’t want to have options that you can get elsewhere in Muskegon.”

ALSO READ: Pigeon Hill is bringing a new form of entertainment to Muskegon with creation of ‘socibowl’

After enjoying dinner – and maybe another drink – the options continue.

Walking towards the back of the building, Brower pointed to an area that will house a new type of entertainment in the Muskegon area: duckpin bowling.

“It’s much more fast-paced than regular bowling,” he said. “It’s a lot more of a group activity.”

A variation of the traditional sport, duckpin bowling is played on a regular-sized bowling lane, but with smaller pins and balls than typical bowlers may be used to. Socibowl will feature six lanes side by side.

The last stop through Socibowl ends at the indoor beer garden, also near the back of the building. Sticking with German beer hall seating, the area will feature fake grass — to give visitors an outdoor feel — and oversized yard games with other activities also in discussion.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun stuff to do inside – especially in the winter,” Brower said. “We wanted more activities in downtown Muskegon.”

As crews continue to work in the construction phase, Brower said the plan is to still open in the fall.

“There’s still some uncertainty that sits in front of us, but at the end of the day, we’ve gotten really good at being adaptable,” he said.

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