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Dart Bar of the Month -- March
by. Fred Everson

 

I first threw steel tipped darts at a bristle board in a tavern called “Yesterdays” in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. The bartender was a gray headed, pony tailed hippie type named Gary, who threw a pretty good dart. He had a reputation as one of the better players on the island, and it was he who introduced me to the game of Cricket. Live has been different ever since.

Yesterdays was a couple of blocks off the waterfront, and it was a great place to play darts, because there was seldom a time when there was not at least one other player in the bar. The level of play was pretty good, and I feel fortunate to have learned my Cricket strategy from dart throwers who never saw a soft tip dart. It has served me well all these years, and given my game the right focus, which is to simply win the game.

I moved to the east end of the island where I lived on an abandoned sailboat for a couple of months. There was a little outdoor bar in the boat yard called Bottom’s Up. It was a great watering hole for all of the live aboards and marina employees. There was a single dartboard, also outside – everything was outside, and lots of dart players. Many players stored their darts behind the bar, and I’ll bet there were 20 different sets on a special shelf under the bar.

This was a great place to find a game after work. There might be 10 or fifteen players waiting for a turn on the board. In most games we splashed for partners, or played Killer. Of all the dart players at Bottom’s Up, there were four or five of us who would travel around to other bars on the weekend to play pickup games against other teams. On of my favorites was a bar on St. John, another island that required a ferryboat ride. If you missed the last ferry at midnight, you had to sleep in the park on a bench – and missing the ferry was easy if you were in a good team game and the beer was flowing.

But of all the places I have played – from the islands, to Canada, to Vermont, to New Jersey, to New Mexico – my favorite dart bar is the one I play in now. The Fox and Hounds Irish Pub on SR 60 in Brandon, Florida should be on any dart player’s list of places to visit when in the Sunshine State. Not only is the place homey and comfortable, the dart players are personable and friendly. There are some very good dart throwers, but mostly we are pub players who enjoy the game.

There are two boards on either side of the front door as you walk in, and then there is a separate dart room with three boards. There are two more boards in the dining room, which are used only on league night. There used to be a pool table in the center of what is now the dart room, but it is long since gone. Weekends will usually find all the boards busy. Monday night is league night, Tuesday night is fun dart night -- geared to beginning players -- and the rest of the week is just open darts, with someone playing somewhere in the house most of the time.

There are two house ladders, with ten players on each, which reflect the house dart rankings. Perhaps the best part of the Fox and Hounds is the staff, -- some of the girls who tend bar here have pouring a wonderful selection of imported beer for as long as I have been pumping pints and throwing darts here, which is about eight years now. Behind the bar are over 600 personalized engraved glass mugs, which entitles the owner to a first beer on the house every day the bar is open except for St. Patrick’s Day.

If you would like to share a favorite dart pub in an article posted on this site, I would be happy to do that once a month. All you have to do is email me the copy in plain text, with a digital image attached separately. Dartplayersite reserves the right to edit. Articles for Dart Bar of the Month should be about 500 words, and credit will be given to the author. Send articles for consideration, or questions to: Feve511145@aol.com.

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