Rhode Island Billiard Bar & Bistro has kept the polished pool balls clicking seven days a week for more than 100 years, recently returning the tin ceilings and mahogany bars of its billiards room to their full luster. Hone your skills at felt croquet on any of 15 9-foot tables and one 7-foot table ($3.50/hour for members, $5.50 for nonmembers). In between rounds of foosball, pinball, or watching the bocce bomb tournament on 15 TVs, mad gourmands can commingle menu items such as the calamari fritti ($7.99) and chicken fingers ($6.99) into clawed, ink-spraying gullet monsters.
Meatball Comedy Stop travels to a variety of venues presenting standup sets during the night. But regardless of its latest resident bar, restaurant, or whoopee-cushion factory, it always brings along a brick-wall façade. It's served as the backdrop for a variety of national headliners. Audiences lounging in cabaret-style seating sip cocktails and munch snacks between chuckles.
Few things go better together than crispy appetizers, beefy burgers, and beer, a recipe that L.A. Bailey's has mastered. The casual bar and grill couples familiar eats such as corned beef sandwiches and grilled Reubens with draft and bottled beers, as well as with inventive cocktails—the L.A. lemonade includes lots of Grey Goose citron mulled with lemon and sugar and topped with sour mix. Elsewhere, musical acts take the stage on occasion and recreational pool and cards host friendly competitions.
Bar 101's amiable atmosphere plays host to an expansive menu of burgers, pizzas, and bar delicacies that set the stage for weekly events. Rich layers of crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing smother the pepper-encrusted black and bleu burger ($8), while the thai crunch salad chauffeurs bites of grilled chicken, mixed greens, chow mein, wasabi peas, and rice wine peanut vinaigrette ($8) safely to hungering mouths. As the night stretches on toward a 1 a.m. closing time, grilled pizzas ($7–$8) such as the loaded potato, topped with bacon, potatoes, monterey jack, and garlic oil, accompany a hearty list of martinis and wines set to grease tall tales of champion fish and game-show-winning sharks.
You'd probably expect to find a few pool tables at a place called Corner Pocket Billiards & Grill. What you might not expect is that the seven high-grade billiards courts beckon to patrons at no cost on Friday and Sunday nights. Thanks to foosball, darts, and 15 flatscreen TVs, as well as two massive projectors, Corner Pocket is an entertainment power house. The pool room fuels nights out with a menu of hearty pub classics, weekly drink specials, and an ever-present selection of 16 frosty draft beers. Bi-weekly karaoke nights drown out the clatter of sunken shots and give patrons an acceptable venue to try out their one-man barbershop quartet.
Since 1959, rollers have been zipping spherical missiles down Town Hall Lanes' 32 well-kept bowling corridors. Though similar in concept to the more familiar form of 10-pin punishment, duckpin bowling differs in that its frames permit competitors three rolls rather than two. The balls used in the game are also smaller and lack holes for fingers, making them less unwieldy for youngsters or phalange-less manatees. Even well-versed bowlers will have to bisect lanes with preternatural precision and power to scatter the 10 duckpins, as their lightweight structure makes bowling a strike much more difficult. The short, squat shape of the pins adds to the challenge and recalls the days when bowlers improvised their own games using nothing but factory-rejected cola bottles.
Under the ownership of Federal Hill native Christopher Conti, Blush Winebar pours half and full glasses from hundreds of red, white, and sparkling libations. The upscale watering hole offers more than 100 wines by the glass, each with its own distinct flavor notes and secret cheese crush. A champagne bar highlights the bubbly beverage with glasses, full bottles, and three-flute samplers as well as a selection of champagne-based cocktails, such as the Blush Boom Boom, a mixture of Moët champagne, pomegranate liqueur, Grand Marnier, and orange juice. Executive chef Jacen Scungio blends fresh, local ingredients to create the flatbread pizzas, sliders, and handmade pastas that populate the wine bar’s tapas menu and keep hungry imbibers from trying to stomp their wines back into grapes.