LEWISTON — The first thing that strikes those walking into the new Sliders Sports Pub is its massive size.

At 9,000 square feet, it’s big enough to play cornhole indoors. But that’s intentional, with seven boards set up at the front, complete with scorekeeper tablets, which will display on a big-screen TV during tournaments.

Scoring a “cornhole,” — it will net you three points — is the name of the game at Sliders where they are already organizing tournaments and visits from professional players. Who knew people were so serious about cornhole?

The American Cornhole League is the sanctioning body for the sport of professional cornhole in the nation and is the organization that started competitive cornhole. Based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the league hosts more than 25,000 tournaments a year and an active roster of over 100,000 players.

The trio of owners — Aaron Daigle, Tyler Babb and Zach Donahue — have been working nonstop for months renovating the former B&K Buffet space at 40 East Ave., which has plenty of free parking, a huge bar with a polished concrete top and seating at the bar for about 20. The restaurant area is also large, set up to seat just under 100 with the capacity to grow to 140.

At the entrance is the pro shop with professional cornhole boards and accessories. Still to come are more televisions, a jumbotron and a live music stage. The owners plan to phase in the tournaments and events as they establish a baseline of service and get on their feet.

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Jason Nadeau, left, and Ryan Goding play cornhole Tuesday at Sliders Sports Bar during a soft opening for invited guests. The bar is in the Lewiston Mall on East Avenue. A public grand opening is set for Friday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The menu is “easy pub food” featuring an array of different smash burgers, flatbreads, salads and a list of appetizers to nibble on as people play a round or just go to meet up with friends. Family-friendly is part of the equation and children can also play in tournaments or just for fun. There is a temperature-controlled environment with a new roof.

Sliders has had success in hiring and brags six bartenders, 15 servers/hosts and another five people for the kitchen. There is a full bar, beers on tap and cans and bottles of craft beer, including Maine brews, wine and plenty of soft drinks and other nonalcoholic choices.

Sliders will hold three soft open nights by invitation so new staff are not overwhelmed. The grand opening for the public is Friday.

The sports pub has an ambitious schedule, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. The owners all have hospitality experience and Babb and Donahue have known each other since high school at Edward Little. Daigle is the newcomer to the group and will act as the front-of-house manager.

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