Time to step up your bar game

Words: Lizbeth Scordo     Photos: Courtesy of Venues

From shuffleboard and scotch to bocce and beer, here are six bars around the country where it’s all about fun and games.

Royal Palms, Brooklyn

Although shuffleboard is often linked to cruise ships and an older crowd, this hipster hot spot is successfully changing the face of the game. In addition to two bars, the 17,000-square-foot space boasts 10 shuffleboard courts that you can book for $40 an hour. Everyone gets a complimentary lesson, and for those who want to shuffle that board more regularly, you can join a team, participate in a weekly league night and take advantage of drink specials and rotating food trucks.



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Pinewood Social, Nashville

© Andrea Behrends

You won’t run out of things to do at this sprawling riverfront conglomerate. The outdoor area comes equipped with a bocce court, two dipping pools and a 30-foot Airstream trailer that serves food and cocktails. Inside you’ll find a bar, coffee shop, karaoke lounge and six vintage bowling lanes for when you want to stick with a game you know. There’s also a buzzy breakfast-lunch-and-dinner restaurant that doles out upscale kitschy dishes like pimento cheese croquettes with Japanese eggplant.


The Playroom, San Francisco

The stylish Hotel Zetta near Union Square has the requisite cool cocktail lounge and restaurant off the lobby, but upstairs, The Playroom is exactly what it sounds like. In addition to a pool table, new and old video games and table shuffleboard, there’s also jumbo Jenga and wall Plinko (yep, that fun-looking game from The Price Is Right). And for the Millennials out there, that tall rectangular box you can step into is called a phone booth. You can use it to Skype someone, or better yet, order food from the onsite restaurant.  

Cobra Arcade Bar, Phoenix  

Get over here!!! @thedjmaneone & @riotearp Saturday Nights!!!! #ComePlay #CobraArcadeBar

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Gamers who want to get into the old-school groove will find themselves in joystick heaven when they walk into this bar that’s home to nearly 40 vintage arcade games—from classic gems like Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. to deep cuts like Q-Bert and Track ‘n’ Field. Cocktails have fitting names like Crazy Kong and the Invader. There’s an impressive lineup of beers, too.


Across the Board Cafe, Winnipeg, Canada

You have to cross the border for this one, but for true board game aficionados, it’s worth it. At this spot, you can finally break out of your Cards Against Humanity rut with more than 900 board games to choose from. Customers pay a mere six bucks for access to the game library, complete with stalwarts like Battleship, Risk and Life, but there are plenty of more obscure board games from past and present. (A game called Shakespeare might sound fun, but don’t knock it until you try it.) And because finding someone who loves Clue as much as you do isn’t always easy, Across the Board also hosts singles nights.

The Sandbox, Los Angeles

This new bar and restaurant in Hollywood has the carnival game category covered with Pinball machines, SkeeBall and Basketball Toss. Games span both the inside space—sprinkled with loungey seating and surfer-and-lifeguard tchotkes on the walls—and outdoor the patio, where your dog is welcome to join you for a round. The menu is exactly what you’d want to accompany a night of gaming with tacos, burgers, pizzas and a beach bucket full of booze if you’re feeling frisky. 

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11 2016 The Red Bulletin

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