New bar Flight Club brings darts and drinks to downtown Denver

A global bar franchise believes it has hit the bullseye with a new location in downtown Denver.

Flight Club, opening June 15, specializes in drinks and darts. The concept originated in London, and when the bar opens at 1959 16th St., the Mile High City will be home to its sixth location in the U.S. and the 18th worldwide.

The 10,000-square-foot space includes 12 semi-private areas where groups can step up to the oche. However, devout darts enthusiasts won’t find the traditional bar games here. Instead, parent company State of Play designed five original games that leverage technology to entertain novices and experts alike.

Zoë Gainey, State of Play’s vice president of marketing, said the company conducted focus groups to learn about what factors can up the fun factor when it comes to darts. That led to the creation of new games, which are inspired by traditional darts but can be played more quickly.

“When you’re in a social group of six to 12 and you’re drinking and eating, it kind of gets frustrating if the game keeps going and nobody wins. So there were certain games we weren’t able to adapt because it just, for lack of a better term, killed the vibe,” Gainey said. “We really focus on the social experience more so than we focus on competitive dart playing.”

In one game called Demolition, each player has a virtual tower they are trying to demolish. Whichever number on the dartboard they hit indicates how many blocks from the tower will be taken down. The first person to demolish their entire tower wins, but they need to close out the number of blocks exactly, much like in traditional darts, to do so.

Digital scoreboards at tech-savvy Flight Club automatically tally players’ scores using “proprietary vision tracking technology,” Gainey said. While the boards and darts are standard, overhead cameras track the darts’ specific colors to keep individual scores. The boards can be networked together, too, so Flight Club could host large group tournaments, though it’s unlikely to be a hot spot for leagues, she said.

In addition to games, Flight Club will serve beer, wine, cocktails and food. Menus at other locations include bites such as flatbreads, mini tacos, dips, skewers and sliders – items are that easy to share and easy to eat while throwing darts, Gainey said. There will be several Denver-specific dishes when the bar makes its debut, she added.

Flight Club Denver includes a patio and dart boards are available to reserve ahead of time, though reservations are not required.

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