With three universities in town, a thriving job market, food and arts scene, Richmond has a large population of young adults in search of entertainment, and the state’s capital does not disappoint. Even shuffleboard, a sport once popular with retirees in Miami Beach, is drawing crowds as Sandy Hausman reports.
Above; Father and Daughter find shuffleboard is fun for all ages.
With ten regulation sized shuffleboard courts, the founders of Tang and Biscuit claim this is the largest indoor court of its kind in the nation. CEO Gary Chadwick says the name is a play on words, referring to the southern staple and that orange-flavored drink made famous by the astronauts. It turns out biscuit and tang are also terms used in shuffleboard.
“The tang is the pole that you use, and the biscuit is the puck,” Chadwick explains.
And they’re convenient terms for a clever menu featuring tangtails like a Vodka Tangtini and sandwiches like the Brisket Biscuit. The entertainment is designed to keep people away from computers and smart phones – to get them interacting with friends and co-workers. On a weeknight and 8, every court is in use. No worries, says Chadwick. There are other things to do.
“We also have table shuffleboard, pingpong tables, giant Connect Four, corn hole boards and board games as well,” he says.
The founders first saw shuffleboard catching on in ultra-cool Brooklyn, and they figured it would fly in Richmond too. They found this old factory in the neighborhood called Scott’s Addition and spent months transforming it into a rec center where people of all ages would feel comfortable.
“You can be five years old, you can be 90 years old,” says the CEO. “Everybody can play. It’s easy.”
On weekends the place is filled with families using tangs to push their biscuits down the court, aiming for squares where they score points or knock others off their spots. Tonight it’s entertaining the after-work crowd: Chas Eppes, Carlos Petri, Durelle Williams and Hannah Schulte:
“The game itself is really good. You’ve got to have a certain technique if you want to be good at it. Not too hard and not too soft,” says Chas Eppes.
“I’m not the best,” Carlos Petri confesses, “but I’m working on it.”
Is it exercise or not really?
“It’s mental exercise more than it is physical,” Durelle Williams explains.
Hannah Schulte admits, “I’m terrible at it, but it’s super fun just being with your friends and laughing and having a good time – not taking it too seriously and knocking them off their points!”
The owners say business is so good that they’ll announce new locations this spring, but by then they’re expecting even more competition – two new places in Richmond where people can try their hand at the Canadian sport of ax throwing.
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