For years, billiards was associated with smoke-filled pool halls, the dens of asthmatic hustlers and seedy habitués. At Hot Shots Westside Family Billiards, a charcoal-filtered HVAC system ensures the air—and the atmosphere—stays clean, making the establishment appropriate for players of all ages. Kids under 10 always play for free on the hall's 22 pocket billiard tables ranging from 7 to 9 feet, including three premium Chevillotte heated tables imported from France. At the Over the Rail Café, the staff prepares burgers and milkshakes, and an arcade room provides a healthier diversion with pinball machines, video games, and dart boards. Beyond recreational games of pool, Hot Shots also hosts charity tournaments throughout the week, and instructors impart the secrets of activating the powerful magnets under the table during private lessons.
Players plugs gamers into a cavalcade of entertaining diversions while fueling competitive spirits with eats and drinks from a menu of pub mainstays. Satisfy pin-busting urges by bowling on one of 12 sleek lanes ($2–$4.75/game per person; $2.50/shoe rental). Each lane sports a massive flat-screen hovering above pins, helping bowlers catch the game while dominating their own opponents. Decamp to Players’ billiards lounge for lessons on trick shots, geometry, or the mating habits of eight-balls staged atop one of the contemporary pool tables ($8–$10/hr.). Players' bar and dining area basks under warm amber lights punctuated by the blue glow of 25 sports-affixed TV screens. Gab with old colleagues about advancements in office pranks over frothy brews (bottle $3.25–$4; draft $3.50–$4.50), goblets of vino ($5+), or one of 10 burgers ($8.99–$10.99). The under-21 set stays occupied in the 8 Ball Lounge, a youth-friendly hideaway packed with shuffleboard tables and sleek seating.