CRIB is a place where you can spend hours that feel like minutes and eat your bodyweight in pizza without breaking the bank, writes Sam Hatherley...

HAVING never played shuffleboard before, I had little idea of what to expect from Southampton's new bar, CRIB.

It recently opened in Bedford Place with the hope to popularise the game so commonly seen in London pubs.

So I thought I'd try my hand – and it would've been rude not to test the food and drink, too!

Arriving at 8pm, most of the tables were taken and customers were enjoying the vibes, provided by a chill hip hop playlist.

The music was courtesy of manager Shane Brown, who welcomed our party with a warm smile, asking how we were getting on.


Manager Shane Brown making a drink

Manager Shane Brown making a drink


"All good," I said, although at this point I had spotted the shuffleboard table booked under my name and was starting to get a bit nervous – in case I was absolutely hopeless.

"Pizza and alcohol," I thought to myself, "that'll settle the nerves."

So we ordered at the bar, opting for the chicken pizza and CRIB's speciality cocktail, then proceeded to our seats, taking in the eccentric decor as we went.

The place looks GREAT, and provides plenty of Insta opportunities, if you're into that kind of thing.

Daily Echo: The interior The interior

Whilst we waited for the food and drinks, a member of staff came over and explained the rules of shuffleboard.

She demonstrated how to slide the weighted pucks along the table and how to score each round.

"That doesn't seem too bad," I thought, but little did I know she had made it look so easy...

Before I got too confident for my own good, manager Shane dropped off our order.

Now, if I was a Looney Tunes character, my eyes would've popped out of my head.

I knew this place did the biggest pizza in Southampton, but I had ordered just a single slice and it was bigger than my head, which isn't exactly small, as it goes.


Reporter Sam Hatherley with the huge pizza slice

Reporter Sam Hatherley with the huge pizza slice


It was absolutely delicious, as was the cocktail which was made with fresh fruit and mint leaves, and I couldn't believe the value for money.

By the time we had finished eating, it was time. Time to try the game. Time to...embarrass myself.

I stepped up to the mark, ready to score a three (the highest possible) with my first puck.

"Go on," I said, as it left my hand and glided down the table. THUD.

My first effort was perhaps the worst shot ever seen in the games' history. It went flying off the end and into the bunker.

Thankfully, my opposition was just as terrible...

We continued to play for what felt like just 15 minutes. But our hour was up and I was shocked when I checked my watch.

The game is seriously fun and it's so satisfying to see the pucks glide down the tables, which are about as top-of-the-range as they get.

I had won and did manage to score a couple of threes, but even still, I find myself edging to get back down to CRIB and improve my game.

Also, the pizza alone is good enough to make the journey for.

Now I must admit, we did go for another round of pizza and cocktails after the game and manager Shane, who has worked at the bar in its various guises over the last ten years, came over for a chat.

He told us that CRIB was the best he had worked in so far, and that was reflected in his service.


The CRIB cocktails

The CRIB cocktails


You could tell he loved being there through his top-notch Spotify DJing skills, as well as his quiet singing whilst making cocktails. That's right Shane, we heard you!

Considering the food and drink we had ordered and the amount of fun we had, my wallet felt far too heavy leaving the bar.

I thoroughly recommend it for anyone in need of a good evening, a place to start a heavy night out, or anything in between.