Since 1991, countless 8-balls have sunk into the corner pockets of the 15-plus Brunswick Gold Crown III tables at Eastside Billiards & Bar. Amateurs and pool sharks alike line up shots during by-the-hour rounds, games in Eastside’s year-round coed league, or lessons geared toward all ages and skill levels. Other gamesmen and women can whack ping pong balls, test their aim at skeeball, or admire the alphabet’s most valuable letter during games of Golden Tee. Sports also unfold on Eastside’s seven big-screen TVs, which decorate a cocktail lounge where patrons can relax with a choice of 20 beers and more than a dozen specialty cocktails.
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.
Break Bar & Billiards combines the elements that make a neighborhood bar worth revisiting into an urban adult playground. At the 55-foot bar, bartenders dispense 18 draught beers and a dozen different bottles, while a full kitchen crew whips up a menu of buffalo wings, nachos, and burgers. Between brews, the staff allows patrons to hit the billiards, table tennis, air hockey, and vintage arcade games to decide who will buy the next round or who has to swallow the eight-ball. The 7,000-square-foot space is lined with exposed brick, industrial heating vents, and vaulted ceilings, lending a sophisticated feel to the playground.
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.