Pool, ping-pong, foosball and of course, flirty games you snooker yourself into, can be found at pool halls scattered throughout Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods. NYC’s coolest borough boasts billiard emporiums that run about half the cost of Manhattan’s finest, which is another mega plus. From dive to divine, here’s what Brooklyn offers up to sharks and socialistas alike.
Grand Billiards & Cafe
750 Grand St.
Brooklyn, NY 112226 (Williamsburg)
Featuring 10 tables, a full bar and throbbing music, Billyburg’s favorite pool hall melds sports and hipster culture flawlessly. Multiple TVs blasting whatever ball game happens to be on are there to distract you when you’re losing. Deep-fried everything is available till 4 a.m. to help keep your energy up, and cheap beer is just a call-button away. Fast, playable tables are $8 an hour for two and parties are available, booked in advance.
213 McGuinness Blvd.
Brooklyn, NY 11222 (Greenpoint)
Related: New York City’s Best Pool Halls
If you’re hungry for pool but not for food, this is your place. Risque features eight pool tables and three ping-pong tables plus a full bar, but nothing to snack on. A comfortable lounge with TVs provides a chill-out space; pool tables are $6 per person, per hour. Patrons come back for the relaxing, friendly atmosphere and heavy metal juke box. And if hunger is getting the best of you but you’re not quite ready to leave an increasingly exciting game, Risque will let you order food in.
Gotham City Billiards Club
93 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11223 (Bensonhurst)
The gentlemen who run Gotham keep promising the liquor license will come through any day now, and it will. In the meantime, a full kitchen plus opulent, meticulously maintained, hand-carved tables and great prices all week long set this pool hall apart from the pack. Women play free on Tuesdays and the military plus 9/11 responders get special love on Wednesdays and Sundays. Gotham hosts a Tri-State tournament monthly, as well as a Monday night league. Tables for two are $10 per hour on weeknights and $13 on weekends. This is a great pool hall for serious players.
Ocean’s 8 at Brownstone Billiards
308 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Park Slope)
Darkly-lit and cavernous, Ocean’s 8 features 30 pool tables, two mini-bowling lanes, six ping-pong tables and tons of other fun diversions. Seven projection TVs plus 20 wide-screen TVs dot the entire space. A very reasonably priced bar features 20 draft beers and a full pub menu. Pool tables are $12 per hour for two, and individual lessons or classes are available for newbies to the game. Theme parties ranging from Bar Mitzvahs to bachelor parties will please fun-minded revelers on a budget. Ocean’s stays open till 4 a.m. on weekends.
Skyline Billiard Club
2515 McDonald Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11223 (Gravesend)
Skyline is relaxed, clean and spacious. Seventeen tables include a 10-foot Chevillotte heated billiard table and a seven-foot Diamond Smart table, making this a good pool hall for super-serious players. You can choose from a wide range of cues, including scorpions and omegas. For those interested in leagues, games start in early March and take place on Monday and Wednesday nights, but call to sign up in advance. Tournaments are held for serious cash prizes, and on Tuesday there’s a great open 9 ball tourney. Tables for two range from $9 to $13, and a no-frills menu includes hot dogs and cheese fries plus wine and beer.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.