Saturday, June 22, 2024

This St. Louis Corner Bar Has A History

The Corner Bar tells the story of accessories. It is about how a fifth-generation shoemaker Jason Bibb bought the last pair of cocked hat bowling lanes in the country. The “smartass”, as Bibb calls it, is the name of cocked-hat-bowling. It uses three regular pins and a bocce ball with no holes for your fingers instead of 10 standard pins. Bibb claims the alley has been in existence since 1865. It’s been used continuously since 1875. This is the only place where three-pin bowling is allowed. He doesn’t want to promote it. He says, “It’s word-of-mouth and we keep it that”

According to Bibb, the Corner Bar was a saloon during Prohibition. It was where women would go to call their husbands during the ’60s or ’70s. To gain access, you must head backward and then descend through a trapdoor. It is easy to imagine how it worked in the 19th century. It’s not automated. High school students act as pinsetters. They catch the ball at the end and roll it back via a chute. The clientele is also the same, but not as old. Bibb states that some of the men’s league teams are still around for over 50 years. They’re old ladies at the bridge table. They can get really snooty when they bowl. I’m like, ‘Come on, Larry.’ They take it too seriously.”

    Leave a Reply