…Well, maybe more like a Chuck E. Cheese for bros. But Chuck E. Cheese is basically like heaven right?
The new Cages
has the batting cages… and two squash courts, and two bubble soccer (mixed use) arenas, and pool tables, and ping pong (AKA beer pong), and a street hockey slap shot rink, and four darts boards, and two electronic darts boards, and a bocce / boules area, and a heavy bag for boxing, and a cornhole field, and two massive bar areas, and a private events space, and half pound-Australian beef burgers, and beer, and a place for live music, and… I don’t know, seven or eight or nine or ten or eleven massive HDTV projector screens — along with 70 more smaller flat-screens — blasting SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS.
It's like someone built a county fair inside a Super Bowl screening party.
All this replete with, you know it, a classic ‘90s alt bro rock soundtrack playing Smashing Pumpkins (“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage…”), Motley Crue (“Girls, girls, girls…”), Hole (“I am… doll parts”), KISS (“I wanna rock all night and party e-ver-y day!”) and all your favorites from the FM dial Drive to Work Power Hour.
It’s like someone tracked down my college roommate Greg “Corned Beef” Davies — huge Minnesota Vikings fan, my boy Greg, HUGE FAN — lifted him by the hair out of whatever beer pong-induced pile of puke he’d passed out in, put a suitcase with 40 million RMB in it in his hand, poured a case of Miller High Life down his throat, and straight-up told him to go APE SHIT.
Which he most certainly did.
Is this you, Greg? Are you behind this monstrosity? This has your fingerprints all over it, Greg. You still owe me for your share of the gas bill, you mouth breathing dropout.
The new Cages is large and in charge — 700 square meters of space (400 square meters for “turf”) — in Jing’an District on the third floor of 428 Jiangning Lu, near Wuding Lu. This is the third iteration of the batting cages / bar venue. Hey, they’re a movable feast — (if said feast consisted solely of Texas chili cheese fries and Jaeger bombs). They’re assuming a massive warehouse venue that obviously used to be a giant mega-club or KTV or something. Downstairs is the defunct Playboy Club and the boarded up EDM club "Ibiza
”, which was a nightclub from back in the day, opened up by a gazillionaire for the single purpose of disproving the existence of god. Perhaps Cages has succeeded where they failed. You be the judge!
Pricing at Whatnot:
The good thing about the Cages Man Palace is most of it is free. Darts are free; pool is free; ping pong is free; bocce / boules area is free; cornhole (cornhole…) is free; you can bang on the punching bag as long as you like. For free. The main… I don’t know — I want to call them “installations” because I am a civilized individual with a minor in Art History — are not free: the batting cages, the squash courts, the hockey thing, and the bubble soccer.
The bubble soccer thing is also a “mixed use” space (i.e. 4 v 4 soccer, dodgeball), ideal for corporate team building events
type stuff (*cringe*), bachelor parties, rec leagues, birthday parties, or whatever. The nice bar lady told us that it costs 800rmb for a half an hour.
Squash courts are 180rmb for a full hour. The slap shot hockey thing was still under construction. For more info for booking the facilities for your events call them at 3112 2950, or email email@example.com.
You don’t have to book the batting cages in advance. The batting cages are now operating with a membership card thing. You get your card at one of these…
And then you put money on it; 20rmb to 200rmb. Then, you swipe it at the batting cages and it puts you in the electronic system to wait your turn. Then, you are able go in the cage and swing your bat at a ball that shoots out at you quite quickly from the machine. What a larf! Sports! Oh, they use “American Iron Mike pitching machines from Master Pitch… for an authentic batting experience.” Does that mean anything to you? That’s ancient Aramaic to me.
Food and drink:
Standard bar fare abounds in apps (nachos, cheese sticks, onion rings, calamari) in the 60rmb to 90rmb range. They also have a range of these mammoth, Republican, almost satirical burgers that are 1/2 a POUND OF AUSTRALIAN BEEF: “Mushroom Swiss”, “Flamethrower Jalapeno Burger”, “Chilli Cheese”, “Supreme” and more. Full menu right here
. This is the “BBQ” 1/2 pounder.
What can I say, it was intense. Half way through the meal, seriously, no joke, this thing it looked up at me and literally called me a FRIGGIN PUSSY BRAH, that’s how intense it was. I’m afraid of this burger.
Beers… are legion. Around 18 bottled beers on offer (40rmb-60rmb) and around five on draft. Murphey’s Irish Stout is 65rmb. Full range of cocktails, shots, whiskey. Full beer menu right here
That’s it. I’m exhausted. I’m totally exhausted. New Cages is open now. They’re still fine tuning the place — facilities (i.e. hockey) are still going in — so you might want to wait a week or two. But corporate team managers, if you want to instill, foster, and cultivate a deep sense of anxiety, shame, and mistrust in your staff today, bubble soccer IS GO.
Cages is at 3/F, 428 Jiangning Lu, near Wuding Lu. They're open daily, 9am to 2am.