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.
Clacking pool balls echo from Society Billiards + Bar’s field of custom-made Diamond tables, which anchor a renovated venue touted by Billiards Digest as “a glossy new gem” in its Top 10 Best New Billiards Rooms article in 2010. Gleaming Super Aramith pro balls glide across smooth Simonis cloth as players’ heels click upon the interior’s burnished wood floors. Draft suds from Stella Artois and Blue Moon accompany mixed drinks at Society’s full-service bar, fueling gameplay and adding vehemence to corner-pocket prophecies delivered from atop stools.
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.
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.
Ten Brunswick Gold Crown IV pool tables offer up their ample pockets to shooters' careful aim in Joe Broadway's Billiards & Sports Bar's spacious playroom. Every night until 3 a.m., an Internet jukebox augments the triumphant clamor of hefty breaks with players' favorite songs or high-school geometry lectures. In between games of pool, players can belly up to the full bar for a drink of domestic or imported beer, play a game on the Xbox or PS3 console, or raise the stakes with a free round of darts. Seven large-screen plasma TVs let players keep one eye on the game, and an onsite pro shop lets serious shooters replace their repurposed parade batons with real cues.