Late night happenings, live music, and other activities you didn’t know you could do in Collin County. 

Plano Super Bowl

Photo by Samantha Marie

Today, the big gray bowling alley on K Avenue looks basically the same on the outside as it did when it first opened in 1985. Secretly, however, Plano Super Bowl got a big indoor makeover in 2016. With almost 50 lanes, bowling alley has long been a natural destination for school orchestra clubs, birthday parties, and bowling leagues. But now, the owners have traded in hot dogs and nacho cheese sauce for Scratch, a chef-driven kitchen, and added a staging area for live music and an arcade room. Because it’s open 24 hours, seven days a week, it’s also the closest place where a bowler can roll a strike at 3 in the morning.

Scratch serves breakfast “anytime,” weekend brunch, and midnight snacks until, well, midnight. Chef Adrian Creasy, “Chefy,” specializes in relaxed, shareable food: wings glazed with chili lime or Scorpion Reaper sauce, three variations of loaded fries, pulled pork sandwiches, and pizza. They even offer take-out. 

 Today, over 2200 league bowlers practice and play at the new and improved Plano Super Bowl. They offer plenty of specials, like Ladies Bowl Free on select evenings, and recurring lunch deals. (While most specials in town come with chips, this one comes with an hour of bowling.) Around the holidays come Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving bowling, New Year’s Eve parties, and pictures with Santa around Christmas. Corporations rent out the VIP lanes for private meetings and company events, and after work on weekdays, locals crowd the bar for happy hour Deadwood Margaritas.

2521 K Ave., Plano | planosuperbowl.com

Cafe Bohemia

Any growing city needs an arts scene. That doesn’t always mean a swanky museum or performance hall—although Plano has those, too. There is also a need for the intimate art venue—the place any writer or performer can go to try out new or old material. 

For those who are old enough to remember the glory days of The Gaslight in Greenwich Village—or those who would like to live in the myth that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has recreated—Cafe Bohemia will appeal to you. There is something about the general feel of the space: the collage of furniture, the black floors, deep-colored walls, and focused yet golden-dim lighting that added a sense of cool austerity. 

Where to go treasure hunting in Collin County

Cafe Bohemia is Plano’s Gaslight. Here, your wooden chair with the red seat could easily have spots of paint on it, seemingly from a previous artistic venture. Feathered and looped earrings adorn one wall, all for sale. Above and around them are paintings, also for sale. 

The event you stumble upon here could be anything from a local songwriter’s performance to open guitar jam nights. Evie, the owner, welcomes it all. Every Wednesday night is a writer’s group night where writers can share their written—or unwritten—thoughts. Sit down in the back on a rusty-red plush couch that faces the back of the shotgun room, where a lonely microphone waits for some company. 

In the back, brown shelving holds rows of books, some covering the flat-screen TV behind them. Woven baskets rest near the space’s green ceiling. Evie collects orders beforehand and takes care to avoid grinding coffee beans during a performance.  

A light, comfortable breeze flows through the thin galley—the door is open to let in the air—and three fans keep the current flowing in the back. The lights, not unlike the showlights you see in a museum to highlight the creations on the wall, give the small space a golden intimacy accentuated by the brown walls and painted tables. It’s ready for you to perform.

2320 Los Rios Blvd. #105, Plano 

Read more: The best new restaurants in Collin County of 2019

Late Nights

Where the night owls roost in and around Collin County.

Filtered

For late night jam sessions and open mic stand up, Filtered in downtown McKinney keeps the lights on a little later than usual on the weekends. They provide a lowkey experience where people from around North Texas come to support local performers. All musicians are welcome, as are all comedians. While you’re there, visit the gallery, where the work of a variety of North Texas artists is displayed for coffee and art aficionados alike. 

218 E. Louisiana St., McKinney | getmefiltered.com 

Texas Wood and Wine

Texas Wine and Wood Creative Studio holds DIY rustic wood sign painting workshops that can be booked at all hours of the day and night. For example, Texas Wood and Wine’s most popular event is their weekly brunch with complimentary bottomless mimosas. Every Saturday, guests gather for fresh fruit and bubbly, and leave with hand-painted signs that read “Live Laugh Love” or “Rise and Shine, Mother Cluckers,” or “If you’re going to be weird, be confident about it.” Good advice for all. 

2949 W. 15th St., Plano | texaswineandwood.com

VNYL

With Las Vegas vibes, low blue and purple lights, djs spinning vinyl, and fog on the dance floor, VNYL is a surprising addition to DFW nightlife, because, unlike every other nightclub in the area, it’s in Plano. Open only on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 to 2, VNYL can be found at The Shops at Legacy. It’s a two-story club, complete with a dance floor and a long bar, VIP spaces, plus tables for bottle service. 

5800 Legacy Dr. Ste. c-11, Plano | legacyvnyl.com

Originally published in the January 2020 Hidden Collin Issue of Local Profile under the title “Mysterious Scenes”

Note: The original version of this story incorrectly named Cafe Bohemia’s Wednesday night writers group as an open mic night. 

Audrey Henvey

Audrey Henvey is a former editorial intern at Local Profile and a current senior at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has worked at the UT Arlington newspaper, The Shorthorn as a College of Engineering...