Imagine rolling a wooden "wheel of cheese" down an alley where the bottom is U-shaped so the disk will roll up and down the sides while trying to come to rest closest to a feather at the end of the lane. Now imagine trying to do this with other disks in the way. With scoring similar to bocce, the disks that wind up closest to the feather win points. This is the essence of feather bowling. It is one of those things that you have to try first before you can fully understand the quirks and intricacies of the game.
Detroiters are fortunate to have a place where they can try their luck (or skill) at feather bowling. Some of the only feather bowling lanes in North America reside at the Cadieux Cafe, located at 4300 Cadieux Road, Detroit, between Warren and Mack. While standing outside the building, one gets the impression that this is just another restaurant, but once inside, you can't mistake the earthy smells that accompany the lanes.
Strategy plays a major part in feather bowling, as the first team gets to roll all of their disks first (often using some of their disks as blockers). The team rolling second must then attempt to navigate around the other disks or try to plow their way through. Often, Belgian beer is consumed to help in this decision-making process, but this is not at all mandatory. This is a family-friendly environment, and kids have a blast playing this game known as "trabollen" in Belgium.
Feather bowling is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Cadieux Cafe has to offer. A unique menu of Belgian beers and a wide variety of dishes (with mussels being their specialty) are available, including steamed mussels, liver pate, roast beef, Belgian dip, beer-braised chicken, Belgian beer stew, spinach mashed potatoes, and pomfrites. Live entertainment is available many nights, featuring local bands like Lucy's Brown Seville, The Highballs, and Eastside Elvis, to name a few.
There is also a deep history that comes with the Cadieux Cafe. With its origins as a speakeasy in the Prohibition era, this restaurant remains a social hub for metro Detroit's Belgian population. The Cadieux Cafe was proud to accept the Michigan Heritage Award from the Michigan Traditional Arts Program for "continuing family and community cultural traditions with excellence and authenticity." If you are interested in experiencing a different culture, a definitely unique game, and some excellent food and beverages, then the Cadieux Cafe just might be the place.
- Sports & Recreation