Forest City Shuffleboard
“We’re underway at the corner of 45th and Lorain!”
If you’ve ever been to Forest City Shuffleboard on a league night, you’ve probably heard owner Jim Miketo shouting this familiar Tom Hamilton-inspired phrase. Forest City Shuffleboard is Cleveland’s first and only indoor/outdoor shuffleboard arena, featuring both a full-service bar and a rotating kitchen highlighting local restaurants and chefs. Miketo opened Forest City Shuffleboard in May 2017 after a successful two years of operation at The Erie Social Shuffleboard in Marblehead, Ohio.
A native of Northeast Ohio, Miketo grew up in Columbia Station and attended high school at St. Edward before moving to New York City to get his college degree. At NYU, Miketo studied finance and economics and worked in the fierce financial district in New York for over seven years. After moving back to Cleveland with his wife in 2014, he knew his heart wasn’t in the finance world anymore. That’s when Jim and his wife decided to open Ohio’s first indoor shuffleboard club in Marblehead, and hence The Erie Social was born.
After deciding to open a second establishment in Cleveland, he chose an old supermarket building in the Ohio City neighborhood due to its size and the exciting growth taking place in the area. While brainstorming ideas about what kind of food to serve at Forest City, Miketo knew how many incredible restaurants and up-and-coming chefs there were in the area. So rather than try and compete with them, he knew he wanted to empower them and give them an opportunity to better reach the community- and Forest City’s rotating kitchen concept allows them to do just that. “We’ve gotten a lot of different type of food offerings from the rotating kitchen- everything from empanadas to barbecue to tacos, burgers, Thai, and Lebanese”.
Between league nights, weekly yoga, pop-up shops, and private events, Forest City truly does it all. As for the future? Miketo expresses his desire for expansion and the occurrence of preliminary talks in other cities. “I would definitely be open to employing a similar strategy to what we’ve done at forest city shuffleboard… I would like to open these in other cities if the opportunity presents itself.”
Passionate about breaking the “shuffleboard stigma”, you can find Miketo running around and conversing with patrons 4-6 nights per week. “To see people of all generations playing the game and having fun is probably one of my favorite parts of it [my job]”