After Hours: Sportscafe in Stuttgart strikes right mix
STUTTGART, Germany — Now that Stuttgart has finally gone smoke-free, it’s a pleasure to go out at night to places like Sportcafe Carambolage.
I know — the name sounds a little feminine. “Kah-RAHM-bo-LAHHJJ.” Even sport-“café” evokes visions of teeny-weeny cups of espresso, pinky extended.
But Sportcafe Carambolage is all about pool tables, darts and sports on TV. You know, man stuff.
Yeah, I know, I know — some women also dig playing pool and darts. And rumor has it there is even one or two who like watching sports on TV. Thankfully, the place is female-friendly: Clean, comfortable, attractive and not so loud that one can’t talk.
Full-sized pool tables are lined up side by side and a 5-by-8-foot TV screen dominates a far wall. The rectangular, wooden bar is well appointed and the staff is friendly.
There are TVs everywhere showing sports. The two Saturday nights when I was there, it was German soccer followed by German boxing. Hey, it’s Germany: Don’t expect to see the Cowboys versus the Redskins.
I counted 13 pool tables and six dart boards. Pool costs 8 euro per hour, darts 6 euro per hour. People were lounging around the pool tables and dart boards.
Each lane for throwing darts was illuminated by a fancy street lamp.
Carambolage, it turns out, is a type of billiards. But you can stick to 8-ball if you want.
During a recent soccer match, chairs were put down in front of the big screen so people could sit and watch. Strangely, the volume of the TV equaled the volume of the music. A person could listen to both at the same time; one didn’t drown out the other. Excellent sound quality, too.
After the game, the chairs were taken away, the commentary was turned down and the music was turned up, revealing the musical soul of the place. Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye, Blue Sky,” Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” some Eminem tune I didn’t recognize. A nice mix.
Sportcafe Carambolage is located where downtown meets Stuttgart West. It’s not a far walk from the throbbing downtown clubs that are one-half “meat” and one-half “market.”
A great place to get your game on. Your pool game, that is.
See previous After Hours reviews here.
Prices: Almost everything costs from 2 to 5 euro.
Food: Baguettes and pizza for 5 euro and less.
Games: Rent billiard balls, cues and a table for 8 euro per hour, darts for 6 euro per hour. For a small deposit, the pub loans out chessboards, backgammon and other games.
English menu: No.
Dress: Relatively classy. Think fern-bar meets sports pub, but without the nachos. There’s a big smoking room with pool tables.
Clientele: A big soccer match on the big screen draws a mix of people. Otherwise, it’s mostly 20- and 30-somethings, and about a 50-50 male-female mix.
Location: Rotebuehl Str. 81, Stuttgart, 70178. It’s downtown. Take the S-Bahn and get off at the Feuersee stop. The pub is right there. Free parking nearby for those who drive.
Web site:www.cafecarambolage.de — German only, but lots of pictures (“bilder”) if you want to see the place.