Since 1991, countless 8-balls have sunk into the corner pockets of the 15-plus Brunswick Gold Crown III tables at Eastside Billiards & Bar. Amateurs and pool sharks alike line up shots during by-the-hour rounds, games in Eastside’s year-round coed league, or lessons geared toward all ages and skill levels. Other gamesmen and women can whack ping pong balls, test their aim at skeeball, or admire the alphabet’s most valuable letter during games of Golden Tee. Sports also unfold on Eastside’s seven big-screen TVs, which decorate a cocktail lounge where patrons can relax with a choice of 20 beers and more than a dozen specialty cocktails.
Open 24 hours a day, this 12th-floor Koreatown space known as Space Billiard Cafe hosts some fourteen classic and Korean-style (no pockets) pool tables, which start at $17 per hour depending on the number of players. Frills are few inside this party-vibe space, apart from the many flatscreen TVs on the walls and the attached bar area that serves a few American and Korean snacks, plus free hot tea to keep you awake and attentive around the clock. If your feet get tired, Space Billiards offers a pair of Crocs at each table to cushion the standing. Guests can also use them to climb up the fire escape, open to smokers, for a great view of the Empire State Building.
Ranked No. 2 in Billiards Digest's 2010 Best New Room hierarchy, Society Billiards + Bar combines 19 top-grade pool tables with a bar full of favorite tonics. Overhead lights serenely illumine custom-made Diamond tables and their players, capturing the ambiance of a classic pool hall while filtering out the blinding smoke and oldfangled harpsichord music. Dueling duos get two hours to flatten the felt with rousing games of 8-ball, 9-ball, and 18-ball pickup while toasting to improbable shots with a quenching quartet of beers from taps dispensing favorites such as Blue Moon, Stella Artois, and Brooklyn Lager. Society Billiards + Bar remains open until 3 a.m. Sundays–Thursdays and 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, facilitating late-night sipping and cue fencing.