JB’s on 41: The Gateway’s Family Entertainment Destination
Located on S 27th St, JB’s on 41 has essentially become the South Side’s go-to destination for family entertainment & fun. This family fun center is equipped with 25 standard bowling lanes, their luxury 10 lane Suite 41 lounge, a bar & restaurant, gaming center and outdoor volleyball courts. Formerly Olympic Lanes, the business underwent major renovations in 2012 and rebranded themselves as JB’s on 41. Stacy sat down with employees Kaylie Longley, Marketing Associate, Adam Hug, General Manager, and James Miller, Kitchen Manager, to hear about how JB’s has grown and developed over the last few years and to talk more about the various, new programs that JB’s has to offer.
The 2012 renovations brought about lots of changes to JB’s on 41, and made it an inviting space for families, friends, and co-workers to have a good time on a budget! With the renovation came the creation of Suite 41, their luxury bowling area, where they host birthday parties, corporate events and more! The suite features big screen TVs, comfortable couches and 10 cherry wood lanes, and galactic bowling is always available. During the renovation, they also updated the arcade to include over 40 different games, as well as a redemption center where guests can redeem the points on their game cards for prizes.
With the renovation, also came the creation of Junction Bar & Grill. They updated the food options from bar bites and fried food into an actual menu, one that is scratch-cooked and homemade. “With the renovations in 2012, one of the owner’s goals was to make Junction Bar & Grill, a destination restaurant, and we’re really close to realizing that goal now with everything that we’ve done to up the ante of pub-style food” says Adam. Junction Bar & Grill was recently featured in an OnMilwaukee.com article as “leaving typical bowling alley fare in the dust.” The restaurant’s signature bread pudding will also be featured in a national bowling magazine, in a story about amplified bowling center food.
Since the major renovations in 2012, JB’s has continued to evolve as a business, and was recently named one of “America’s coolest bowling alleys” by Travel & Leisure Magazine. In the last month, JB’s on 41 made changes to their promotional specials, which they call their “Weekly To-Do’s.” These specials are different each day of the week, but so far, their Tuesday and Saturday deals seem to be the most popular. Saturdays feature their family fun pack, which includes an hour of bowling, a large, single-topping pizza, bowling shoe rentals, and a $20 game card for 4-6 people.
On Tuesdays JB’s offers $2 games, rentals, and domestic beers, and on Thursdays kids bowl free. Every single deal offers something for everyone; “Whether you’re 75 or 5 years old, you can come here, to JB’s on 41 and you are guaranteed to have a good time! We have so much to offer!” says Kaylie.
Once a month, they host events like Mission Reconnect, their passion project, which usually focuses around bringing people together. As Kaylie says: “It may not sound like much, but having these monthly events really shows that we’re going to set time away from our busy league calendar and have families come here for an event that’s exclusively for them, in the Suite 41 area. It’s a little thank you because that’s why we’re here: for family fun.”
JB’s on 41 stays active in the community, as well, giving back to a variety of local charities in a number of ways. Goodwill comes in once a month with a group of people with disabilities and they get to bowl for $1 a game. The staff has come to know many of them as regulars.
Each year, JB’s donates over $5000 in bowling certificates and passes to various schools, charities, and other community-based causes to continue offering fun entertainment options at a discounted or free rate, as well as providing sponsorships to local sports teams. JB’s is also host to a number of fundraisers and charity events throughout the year for organizations like the American Heart Association, Brightening Veterans’ Lives, the Milwaukee Brewers, etc.
JB’s cares about the community, and in return the community cares about them. JB’s on 41 loves being a part of the Gateway because of the friendly, neighborly culture among not only their guests, but also other businesses in the area. Adam visited Sherwin Williams over the summer to pick up some paint, and the employee noticed his shirt and asked how things were going over at JB’s. James experienced the same thing at Menard’s; the businesses in the area genuinely care about one another.
Since its inception in 2012, JB’s on 41 has truly set itself apart and recreated Olympic Lanes’ brand image. “This is truly a family fun center, and I don’t think that there’s a bowling center in the Milwaukee area that can compare to what we have to offer” says Adam. JB’s continues to find creative and innovative ways to engage, not only the bowling community, but also, families, friends, and co-workers who are looking for a good time, with their constantly evolving promotional events programs. For more information on events and deals that JB’s has to offer, please visit their website.