Jill Couture celebrates her turn at duckpin bowling.

A new kind of family activity arrived in the Upper Keys several months ago at Tavernier Towne Center. With duckpin bowling, ax throwing and arcade games, Pinfish Entertainment brought a new indoor entertainment venue long sought by families and children. 

Owner Matt Struhs quietly opened the new business Aug. 27. He’s lived in the Keys with his family since 2018. Having spent a career in the military, Struhs said he wanted to find a way to not leave the area and pursue a new endeavor. Struhs teamed up with his dad, Mark, who has a background in arcades, to bring the new activities center to life. 

“It’s been amazing to see the amount of interest from the community,” Struhs said. “It has been nothing but positive vibes, smiles and laughter.”

Bringing something for everybody ages 8 to 80 was the intent behind Pinfish Entertainment, Struhs said. A variety of arcade games await challengers, everything from skeeball and air hockey to virtual reality King Kong and car racing. Patrons receive a game card to accrue points for all sorts of goodies and items at the prize counter. 

With the game of bowling a tried and true attraction, Struhs decided to install a series of smaller duckpin lanes to the back of the facility. With smaller lanes, balls and pins, duckpin bowling has been a big attraction for families and adults. Duckpin bowling has gained so much interest that more than 40 bowlers participated in fall leagues. 

Struhs also wanted to bring a trendy and edgy game, so he decided to put in three lanes of ax-throwing. Struhs said ax throwing has that wow factor that’s intrigued patrons. The game is for those ages 13 and up. 

“With 6,000 square feet of space, we wanted to fit as much as we possibly could,” Struhs said. “We really thought of every bit of space and maximized it for the fun and enjoyment of everyone.” 

In addition to the games, adults can try one of 16 craft beers and four wines on tap. Pinfish Entertainment also serves pretzels, flatbread pizza, chips and salsa and hot dogs. 

Pinfish Entertainment has received rave reviews from area families who long awaited some fun away from the sun. Pinfish was also a big winner at this year’s Best of Upper Keys, having won Best New Business and Best Place to Take the Kids.

With leagues for adults and games and prizes for the kids, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Pinfish Entertainment is open Monday and Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m., Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. 

Visit pinfishentertainment.com to book an event and learn more.

Photos by DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.