We Got Way More Into Shuffleboard Than We Expected
We're sceptical at first. The Little Shuffle Club's well-lit, rec centre design just feels so... wholesome. A bit less cruise liner than we'd feared, but a bit more YMCA.
With a cocktail in hand — the Cherry Gander is a potent mix of pear vodka, Aperol, cherry and prosecco — it starts to feel a lot less wholesome. The space starts to fill with an after-work crowd, noise levels start to rise — and we start to get really, really into table shuffleboard.
It's compulsive. The wax powder dusting the table gives the discs an unpredictable glide, varying from game to game and re-waxing to re-waxing, which brings a nicely random element into the mix. Doesn't matter how mad your darts skills, or how precise your pool game, when it comes to table shuffleboard, all bets are off. The triumphs come surprisingly often, the defeats sting surprisingly little, and the communal set-up generates such a feeling of camaraderie that we get strangers high-fiving us when we score a four-pointer.
The price is something to look out for: while the vibe's your-local-rec-centre, it'd be easy for your bill to spiral upwards as the night spirals on. It's £10 per 30 minutes on the table, and we assume when we arrive that half an hour will be plenty. Two hours later we have to pry ourselves off the table: that's £40 worth of — highly-skilled — shuffling. That's not counting the cocktails (about £9.50 a pop, though thoroughly worth it), and the Voodoo Ray's pizza you can bring in from across the road.
It's more expensive than your average night in the pub, but there's a natural balance at work. We're so invested in our winning streak we drink a bit less than we might have just propping up a bar.
Stiff competition, stiff cocktails, and high fives from strangers. What's not to like?
The Little Shuffle Club, 5 Ebor Street, E1 6AW.
Last Updated 07 December 2017