March 16th, 2010

Urban Curling

The Roaring Game on a Shuffleboard Table

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I’ve been captivated by curling… the hit of the Winter Olympics. Curling combines the strategy and steady hand of bocce ball with the collaboration of team housecleaning. To compete in curling, you need to have hefty stones… 16 of them, along with an ice rink. Unfortunately, the closest curling club is in Vacaville and they have a wheelchair curler who dominates. How amazing and humbling.

So instead of driving out to Vacaville, allow me to introduce you to (queue drumroll) Urban Curling!

Urban Curling is like curling on a shuffleboard table with the curling broom replaced with speed powder. How it works: Divide into two squads. Use the standard team shuffleboard rules for game play and scoring. The one twist: When the lead skip slides the puck, the supporting teammates are allowed to sprinkle the “shuffleboard cheese” on the table to adjust pace and direction mid-toss. I recommend purchasing Sun-Glo Speed Powder because the miniscule, sand-like silicone beads are this sport’s K-Y Jelly. And the house table salt is better on the rim of a margarita glass. Sorry, über-competitive reader… like Beirut, there is no defensive blowing.

And without further ado, the local watering holes with a shuffleboard table.
Ike Turner - Buckshot.jpgBuckshot
The motley mix of games makes the Buckshot the Chuck E Cheese for adults. Darts, pool tables, skee ball, Buckhunter, and even Toobin’, this place is quarter heaven. Here, the losing team should order (and take) an “Ike Turner”–a shot of Hennessy and a slap in the face.
Buckshot   3848 Geary St., SF, CA. 415.831.8838.
Open till 2am nightly

Urban Curling - Docs Clock.jpgDoc’s Clock
Tucked in the Mission, this dive bar with cheap PBR provides a substantial home-ice advantage for the carrot-munching curlers with solid night vision– it’s dark!
Doc’s Clock   2575 Mission St., SF, CA. 415.824.3627.
Open till 2am nightly (midnight on Sunday).

El Rio
A divey bar has a little bit of everything, including live music, salsa Sundays and killer happy hours. The losing team might buy drinks, but everyone wins… $1 PBRs on Mondays.
El Rio   3158 Mission St., SF, CA. 415.282.3325.
Open till 2am Wed – Sat; 1am Mon & Tues; 10pm on Sun.

Fly Bar
A great spot in the Tendernob to post up for the evening. “Flutter” for Fly on Sutter (tip of the hat to Brad K for the portmanteau) features a happy hour with $3 pints and half-priced pizzas.
Fly Bar   1085 Sutter St., SF, CA. 415.441.4232.
Open till 2am nightly

Kingfish Pub & Cafe
This neighborhood watering hole serves up the tall boys. The free popcorn might soak up some of the alcohol, but be sure to come with a designated driver so you can make it home safely.
Kingfish Pub and Cafe   5227 Claremont Ave., Oakland, CA. 510.655.7373.
Open till Midnight Mon – Thurs; 2am Fri & Sat; 10pm on Sun.

Marine Layer
The lone retail establishment. You know their shirts turn you into a human petting zoo… but did you know they also have a shuffleboard table? Call ahead to make sure they are hosting one of their underground Friday happy hours.
Marine Layer   1932 Polk St. SF, CA. 415.407.4043.
Call ahead for hours or check their Facebook fanpage.

Roundup Saloon
Nestled in the bucolic East Bay, the Roundup still has its regulars… it used to be one of the favorite haunts of Doug Murphy, former CBS 5 anchorman. You’ll find ample elbow room most nights, except the evening before Thanksgiving when the college-age locals overrun this place… hmm, maybe not the worst way to ease into Turkey Day.
Roundup Saloon   3553 Mt Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA. 925.284.4817.
Open till 2am most nights.

Silver Peso Bar
One of Marin’s two dive bars with Urban Curling tables. There are a few guarantees here… stiff drinks and you’ll leave with at least one bizarre story.
Silver Peso Bar   450 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA. 415.924.3448.
Open till 2am every night.

Smitty’s Bar
Yep, there’s a hole-in-the-wall in Sausalito. Big props to this dependable dive, which keeps the same hours seven days per week. You can roll eight deep here as there is plenty of room and four pool tables while your friends wait for their turn.
Smitty’s Bar   214 Caledonia St. Sausalito. CA. 415.332.2637.
Open till 2am all nights.

Double Cut Pork Chop - Tee Off.jpgTee Off Bar & Grill
Another dive bar in the Richmond featured on the Guy Fieri show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. The winners dine like royalty… order the mac & cheese with pancetta for starters and the double cut pork chop with achiote and apricot relish.
Tee Off Bar & Grill   3129 Clement St. SF, CA. 415.752.5439.
Open till 2am nightly.

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