Corner Pocket takes its title as a sports bar very seriously. Hooked up to 15 satellite receivers, the nearly 10,000-square-foot bar's 35 flat-screen televisions constantly air games, from baseball and hockey matches to ultimate-fighting bouts. The TVs surround eight balls sinking into the pockets of 16 billiards tables and darts striking the bull’s-eyes of six dartboards. Not to mention balls rolling into goals on a foosball table, pucks gliding along a shuffleboard and gamers competing on Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation consoles.
But amid all its emphasis on sports, Corner Pocket never loses sight of its bar duties. Domestic and imported beers from 14 taps pour into pints, mugs, pitchers, or directly into patron’s mouths. Along with wine, the brews complement Corner Pocket's classic approach to bar food, which includes Angus beef burgers, chili-cheese corn dogs, and housemade potato chips. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. daily, so patrons can celebrate their team’s win until the wee hours or dance the night away to karaoke on Sundays and Thursday or live music on Saturdays.
If Blue Cue doesn't look like a typical pool hall, that's because it isn't. The billiards spot doubles as a restaurant, and nearly everything about it?from the bright blue pool tables to the sleek couches propped against exposed-brick walls?contributes to an atmosphere that's classy and upscale without being pretentious. That atmosphere carries over to a menu of comfort foods headlined by charbroiled burgers, hot dogs, and New York-style pizzas. Pair any of the above with a drink from the bar, such as a draft of seasonal Sierra Nevada or signature blue island punch.
The best pool halls keep it simple: fresh green felt on the tables; cues that haven't been warped by age or splintered by bar room jousters; pitchers of beer on tap with neon signs to match. And, of course, a jukebox, preferably one with Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" or George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone." These are the basics of a good pool experience, and Hot Shots Billiards has got them down pat. The 22-year-old establishment is a paradise for players tired of hunting down pool tables in the back of noisy bars and staking claim over them with guttural growls. The pool hall treats players to Monday night 8-ball tournaments, Wednesday and Friday night 9-ball tourneys, and Thursday night specials for ladies. Besides the bevy of maintained tables, Hot Shots also sports ping-pong tables, comfort foods such as tacos and nachos, and lessons for novice players.
Double Decker powers its ball returns and lights its 50 slick boulder-tossing lanes with energy harnessed by roof-mounted solar panels. After slipping on rented shoes, party members stake their two-hour claim on a lane boasting automatic scoreboards, bumpers, and color commentary from retired pins. Trounce hunger with one large pizza ($12) and a pitcher of soda ($5), or unwind between frames in a lounge area replete with big screen TVs, a full service bar, and pool tables.
The fun literally doesn't stop at Stars Recreation Center. That's because the entertainment complex is open 24/7. Inside, guests will find an arcade, a laser tag arena, and a bowling center with 40 lanes, or one for every member of an orchestra. To keep energy levels up, the center also boasts two on-site restaurants, including City Sports Bar & Grill, which serves everything from breakfast to burgers to beers. And upstairs at The Corner Pocket, guests fill find even more to feed their competitive spirit including darts, shuffleboard, and eight tournament-style pool tables.
Lee Simon spent his childhood hanging out in his father's pool hall. Not much has changed since then. Today he can be found at Buffalo Billiards, the Simon family's seventh pool hall. Located in a historic brick building from 1860, Buffalo Billiards is an homage to all things pool?a museum as much as it is a pool hall and pro shop. But first and foremost, it's a place to play?and that's not hard with pool tables, professional-sized shuffleboard, ping-pong, and pinball machines all vying for attention. Though dartboard line the walls, pool's the marquee sport, and players of all skill levels can be found racking, breaking, and hula-hooping with the triangular rack.
Simon's passion for antique tables is evident throughout, with restored and refurbished equipment on display as well as brand new, American-made tables and accessories for sale. Buffalo Billiards hosts leagues and tournaments as well as open play, and Simon offers myriad services such as pool table restoration and refurbishing. Players can also sharpen their skills with lessons from Billy "The Kid" Aguero, Buffalo Billiards' in-house instructor. Letting players extend their afternoons at the pool hall, Buffalo Billiards also features a bar with craft draft beers and hot food.