Pool players of all ages and skill levels can find all the right angles at VIP Billiards’ 20 pool tables seven days a week. When not sinking shots into the spot’s 120 pockets, cue hands keep busy with bottles of beer or a cocktail from the full-service bar, and all patrons can pass the time between games by throwing darts, sending ping-pong balls careening across tables, or using the WiFi to look up pro tips for applying chalk. VIP Billiards also opens up its space and all the attendant green felt surfaces for private parties, fundraisers, and APA league teams.
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.
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.
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.
Legion Bowl & Billiards preserves retro entertainment with 18 duckpin bowling lanes, eight tournament-sized billiards tables, and ticket-spewing arcade games. The alley’s streamlined design hearkens to the tailfins of a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air or the cover art of a mid-century sci-fi novel. Traditional scoring projectors lend to the classic ambiance at the lanes, which fill with the clatter of scattering pins.
Television screens in the pool hall broadcast live coverage of New England sports teams, and the spitfire rasp of electric guitars occasionally cuts through from live musicians at the adjoining Legion Pub. The kitchen staff fires selections from a menu of burgers and grilled pizzas, which pair with draft beers or cocktails. On the alley’s outdoor deck, guests click together glasses or toss rocks at poets attracted by the breezy summer evenings.