High concept darts bar Flight Club hits a bullseye

Flight Club. Picture: Clevershot

Flight Club. Picture: Clevershot - Credit: Archant

With better prices than similar venues like All Star Lanes or Bounce, this innovative Moorgate bar should prove a hit with young Londoners, says Alex Bellotti.

Previously the sole preserve of spit and sawdust locals, the game of darts has now been thrown into the 21st century at a new bar and entertainment venue in Finsbury Square.

Flight Club is the brainchild of Steve Moore and Paul Barham, two entrepreneurs who joined forces with industry heavy-weight Adam Breeden – who brought ping pong and bowling to the masses as the founder of Bounce and All Star Lanes – to create a new social entertainment concept they have christened ‘social darts’.

Using real-time, animated scoring and a slick touch screen interface created by a rocket scientist, the venue invites its customers to rent an ‘oche’ (booth) for up to 12 people. By way of the interface, you can punch in names, scan your faces and split up into teams as you take on the classic game (first to reach zero from 501) or variants which include the computer challenging players to hit a specific number.

At £25 per hour after 6pm (£20 before 6pm), it certainly represents good value for money if split between a big enough group. What’s more, it’s terrific fun. Having tried out an oche for the Gazette team, the relative inexperience of everyone levelled the playing field far more than similar ‘social sports’ like bowling. And after throwing a first round of highly shambolic misses, I eventually hit enough of a stride to win the first game for our team.

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During your hour, you’re able to order food and drink to your table. Food-wise, we tried some of the sharing pizza paddles (nothing too special, but thin, crispy and filling enough), while further options include sharing plates such as avocado on toast, buttermilk fried chicken and crab mac croquettes, as well as a range of burgers and salads.

On the cocktail side particularly there’s plenty to explore. The Shanghai Sling (Jinzu gin, apple, Szechuan pepper tincture, lemon, orgeat syrup, Cocchi Americano ‘aperitivo’) was a refreshing zesty blend, while the Pina Colada-influenced Coco Fumada Slush (Havana three year rum, Koko Kanu rum, pineapple, coconut, lime, banana liqueur, smoked salt) proved a notable favourite around the venue.

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At around £10 a cocktail, it’s standard fare for the city, but with the added mayhem of darts, there’s plenty to separate Flight Club from the crowd. At a better price than most other social sports, they’ve surely hit a bullseye with the young London market.

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