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Pinstripes Bistro, Bowling and Bocce plans fast and widespread expansion

Pinstripes Bistro, Bowling and Bocce has its sights set on expansion beyond its home base in Chicago, hoping to capitalize on a growing trend that combines dining out with an activity that can be shared with a family or group of friends.

It's a trend Pinstripes CEO Dale Schwartz says is growing as technology-engulfed Americans increasingly desire social time that doesn't involve a screen or video-game console.

"People are as socially connected as we've ever been thanks to technology, but we're as disconnected as we've ever been," Schwartz said. "We want to, in some respects, go back to the future and allow people to gather and spend time together."

The 10-year-old business opened its first location in Northbrook in May 2007, followed by openings in South Barrington and Oak Brook, and in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood in 2015. Its first location outside the Chicago area opened in Edina, Minn., in 2010. Pinstripes has a total of eight locations across the country, the last of which opened earlier this month in Bethesda, Md.

But the pace of openings is picking up. Pinstripes plans to open four locations in 2018, and four or five additional locations in 2019, Schwartz said. Planned future openings range from San Mateo, Calif., to Boston, with Cleveland, Houston, Fort Worth, Texas, and a suburb of Atlanta in between.

The rate of new openings should continue for the next few years, Schwartz said. Pinstripes is scouting both urban and suburban locations tied to lifestyle or shopping centers, he said. There are at least 40 sites in the pipeline, he added, and there's a plan to eventually expand overseas.

Each Pinstripes features bowling lanes, indoor and outdoor bocce courts, a bistro serving Italian and American fare, and wine and beer offerings.

"At the end of the day, we want people to connect in a very high-quality way," he said. "Pinstripes is sophisticated fun."

sbomkamp@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @SamWillTravel

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