Ten Brunswick Gold Crown IV pool tables offer up their ample pockets to shooters' careful aim in Joe Broadway's Billiards & Sports Bar's spacious playroom. Every night until 3 a.m., an Internet jukebox augments the triumphant clamor of hefty breaks with players' favorite songs or high-school geometry lectures. In between games of pool, players can belly up to the full bar for a drink of domestic or imported beer, play a game on the Xbox or PS3 console, or raise the stakes with a free round of darts. Seven large-screen plasma TVs let players keep one eye on the game, and an onsite pro shop lets serious shooters replace their repurposed parade batons with real cues.
In building a sandcastle, you take one thing?sand?and mold it into something completely unexpected?a castle. Sandcastle Billiards is no different. Once a golf warehouse, the facility was transformed into an upscale billiards parlor, complete with 18 billiards tables, ping-pong, and foosball. The revamped space also features other games, such as dominoes, backgammon, and chess, as well as flat-screen TVs and music.
Willow Billiards arms pros and beginners with chalked cues for two hours of 8-ball action paired with delicious brews. More than 10 new Brunswick Gold Crown III tables and two antique Peter Vitalie Lord Nelson tables cushion stricken balls with a half-dozen cozy pockets. Lined with 14 brass-rimmed stools, a fully stocked mahogany bar stretches for 22 feet and decants drafts (up to $5 each). Willow Billiards flanks its libation station and abundance of tables with an exposed brick interior ornamented with mahogany wood and illumined by brass and onyx lamps. Tournaments occupy numerous tables on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so customers should take the limited availability into consideration on those evenings.
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.
One harbors certain expectations when entering a jazz club in New York City. A list of classic cocktails is a must, and it goes without saying that smooth, soulful music should be playing at all times. A night at Fat Cat might prove to be a jarring experience in light of such expectations. Cocktails and jazz are certainly well represented, but the club’s patrons eschew hushed reverence. Any musicians who take the stage must be prepared to compete with the clacking of billiard balls and the cheers that break out during foosball games. Fortunately, they are so talented that they nearly always win out. After their sets, they might even join in on lively games of backgammon, chess, and “Who Wants to Pay the Bar Tab?”.