It takes an awful lot to persuade me to venture into Leeds City Centre on a weekend, but an invite to Flight Club’s Brunch Social certainly did the job.
Having taken over the former Bierkeller site, this fairground themed social darts bar has been welcoming customers since June 2021. The venue itself boasts 13 oches for guests to play darts, has a capacity of 400, and serves a wide range of cocktails, beers, spirits and an extensive food menu.
My partner and I arrived at midday on Sunday and were taken aback by the interior. Cosy oches, jewel toned tiles, mini hanging hot air balloons and a revolving miniature Ferris wheel added to the carnival-cum-fairground feel of the whole venue. We were welcomed with a smile and shown to our own spacious, private oche – tastefully decked out with mahogany wood and distressed walls – where there were two bottles of prosecco on ice awaiting us, along with iced water, and fresh orange juice for us to make mimosas with. The friendly and warm member of staff gave us a quick health and safety briefing (no throwing darts at each other!), before explaining to us how things at Flight Club worked.
There are five darts-based games to choose from, with 30 second ‘how to’ videos explaining each one. He also talked us through which game he suggested we begin with, as well as recommending his favourite game to us. A camera above the screen lets guests take a selfie to go alongside their name on the scoreboard, whilst more cameras around the dartboard mean guests can take group selfies or boomerangs, which can be sent to them after their visit. These state-of-the-art cameras also use dart tracking technology to track throws and scores – very high tech!
Having had everything explained to us, another lovely member of staff came over to take a food order. The brunch offer includes a bottle of prosecco each, as well as all you can eat pizzas and an hour of social darts (this part is optional). We chose to try the Margherita, mushroom and truffle, and artichoke, cherry tomato and olive pizzas. All three were brought out promptly on huge paddles straight to our oche, and had perfectly cooked, thin, crispy crusts and beautiful fresh toppings. They had the added bonus of being huge, which was ideal for two hungry guests!
After we had had a little to eat, we started on the darts. We decided to work our way through the five games to get a good feel for each one. Every single game is clearly explained and so much fun. There are markers on the floor to dictate how close one should stand to the board depending on whether you rate yourself a rookie, regular or pro (we both chose regular). Our favourite games were Demolition – the closest to actual darts – where players have to demolish their tower on the screen before their opponent, and snakes and ladders, where your dart throw acts as a dice roll, moving the counter on the screen up the snakes and ladders board.
Another favourite touch is the use of the cameras dotted around the oche to film a slow-motion replay of the winner’s throw. This added to the competitive edge and was an entertaining addition.
The venue itself was pristinely clean, with hand sanitisers dotted on every table. The staff were warm and attentive without being overbearing, and the ambience of the place was great – perfect temperature, lighting, and with an excellent playlist playing a good mix of 80’s – 2000’s pop, indie and rock. Whilst it was fairly quiet when we arrived, the venue quickly filled up, which added to the buzzy, social atmosphere.
Guests can choose to enjoy the brunch simply with 2 hours of prosecco and pizza (£25 per ticket) or with an hour of social darts within that time (£35). The brunch social is available Thursday to Sunday. Both options are exceptionally good value for the amount of food and drink guests receive, and both myself and my partner agreed we would absolutely return again.
Flight Club is a fun, vibrant social venue for couples or groups alike, and a brilliant addition to Leeds.
Flight Club Leeds, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, LS1 5QL, 0113 733 0770, https://flightclubdarts.com/leeds/
All photography by Ruby Anne Blair.