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.
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.
One harbors certain expectations when entering a jazz club in New York City. A list of classic cocktails is a must, and it goes without saying that smooth, soulful music should be playing at all times. A night at Fat Cat might prove to be a jarring experience in light of such expectations. Cocktails and jazz are certainly well represented, but the club’s patrons eschew hushed reverence. Any musicians who take the stage must be prepared to compete with the clacking of billiard balls and the cheers that break out during foosball games. Fortunately, they are so talented that they nearly always win out. After their sets, they might even join in on lively games of backgammon, chess, and “Who Wants to Pay the Bar Tab?”.
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.
Open 24 hours a day, this 12th-floor Koreatown space known as Space Billiard Cafe hosts some fourteen classic and Korean-style (no pockets) pool tables, which start at $17 per hour depending on the number of players. Frills are few inside this party-vibe space, apart from the many flatscreen TVs on the walls and the attached bar area that serves a few American and Korean snacks, plus free hot tea to keep you awake and attentive around the clock. If your feet get tired, Space Billiards offers a pair of Crocs at each table to cushion the standing. Guests can also use them to climb up the fire escape, open to smokers, for a great view of the Empire State Building.