In over forty years of bridge playing, Shelly Studio of Bridge and Games has outgrown its small building on New Karner Road and is looking to expand in order to host more tournaments.
The Zoning Board of Appeals heard a proposal from Shelly Studio’s three owners to move locations at its Thursday, Aug. 20, meeting. The board ultimately approved the special use permit to move the indoor gaming company to 6 British American Blvd., zoned Office Residential, from its current 251 New Karner Road location.
“It’s just too crowded,” said co-owner Diana Lack. On average, Shelly Studio holds 20 tables for bridge, but Lack said they have been getting complaints from players of the room being too jammed.
The gaming studio hosts three games per week of duplicate bridge, a “trick-taking” game played with regular packs of cards. They also offer lessons. It is officially sponsored by the American Contract Bridge League, allowing players to use scores from Shelly Studio to advance into national tournaments. Gambling, however, is not allowed.
Lack said the studio is too small to host larger tournaments, like she and her co-owners, Phyllis French and Fran Leary, would like to.
Shelly Studio was named after Norma Shelly, who died in 2012 and was a long-time friend of the current owners. The three women bought the gaming studio from Shelly’s family to honor her memory.
The business caters mostly to seniors, but young members have been known to take part in the games. In addition to bridge, Shelly Studio has hosted chess tournaments. People have also been known to come with strategy war games to play.
“As video games became more popular, we lost the lower age groups, which we’re hoping to get back,” Leary said.
Bridge, along with the other games, helps seniors remain active and social, said Lack. The strategic aspects of the games also helps ward off dementia, which acting Zoning Board Chairman David Vail said he was happy to hear from Shelly Studio.
“I have to say, being a chaplain in a nursing home, the more we can stimulate the mind, the longer we can push off dementia,” Vail said.
For information on Shelly Studio of Bridge and Games, go to www.cuebid.com/shellybridge.