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Street Level

Just for fun: Forest City Shuffleboard Arena and Bar



Shuffleboard is sliding its way into Cleveland later this month with a side order of food, drink and puck-flinging good times.

Forest City Shuffleboard Arena & Bar, the mindchild of owner Jim Miketo and his wife, Kari, is scheduled to open May 18 at 4506 Lorain Avenue in Ohio City, the former site of the Supermercado Rico grocery. As part of its 7,500 square feet of fun, Forest City Shuffle presents seven regulation shuffleboard courts and two 22-foot-long shuffleboard tables. Game-playing patrons can enjoy a selection of local and regional beers along with a rotating cast of pop-up food providers such as Half Moon Bakery.
 
Cleveland's nightlife scene boasts the occasional shuffleboard table or small court, says Miketo, but there's nothing in the area like what he has to offer.
 
"It's part of a trend where people are active when they're out," says Miketo, 31. "This is a regulation shuffleboard club for all ages and skill ranges."
 
Shuffleboard is a game in which players push weighted metal or plastic pucks down a court or smooth wooden table into a scoring area at the opposite end. The game is easy to pick up, and Miketo plans to host year-round leagues where winners' names will hang from a banner above the playing area. Private events, birthday parties and office outings are aimed at adults, but weekend afternoons will be more family-friendly affairs.
 
"Shuffleboard is all-inclusive," Miketo says. "Anyone can win so that's going to attract a lot of people."
 
Miketo got the idea for a dedicated shuffleboard bar when he visited a similar spot in New York.  Proof of concept came with Forest City Shuffle's sister location, The Erie Social Shuffleboard Club, which is celebrating its two year anniversary in June. 
 
"You can go to places that have different beer offerings, but it's the shuffleboard and our location that sets us apart," says Miketo. "We'll have an outdoor patio with courts that you can see from the road. We want people to come out and have fun."
 
The owners are currently readying the bar for its grand opening, with general manager Abbey O'Donnell finalizing the menu and drumming up support on social media. For his part, Miketo is excited to add a new wrinkle to what is already a hopping community.
 
"There's lots of great businesses along Lorain, and we have the opportunity to bring some more visibility to the neighborhood," he says. "What's good for one business is good for everyone." 
 

Read more articles by Douglas J. Guth.

Douglas J. Guth is a Cleveland Heights-based freelance writer and journalist. In addition to Fresh Water, his work has been published by Midwest Energy News, Kaleidoscope Magazine and Think, the alumni publication of Case Western Reserve University. A die-hard Cleveland sports fan, he also writes for the cynically named (yet humorously written) blog Cleveland Sports Torture.   
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