- Corner Billiards
85 Fourth Avenue, 212-995-1314
Somehow, shooting pool still conjures up images of (a) smoky dive bars with leering regulars and beer-stained felt, or (b) Tom Cruise’s smarmy hustler in The Color of Money. We’re all for getting in touch with your seedy side, but really, the former places have pretty much gone the way of Times Square sleaze, and the latter have no place in New York whatsoever (or anywhere else). At Corner Billiards, you’ll find a clean-cut collegiate crowd that’s actually there to shoot some stick. Though the tables and cues are in excellent shape, the bring-your-own-cue crowd tends to avoid this place in favor of more “serious” haunts, so the intimidation factor is low. And the adjoining café eschews potato-chip and pretzel bowls for mushroom quesadillas and pizza. Rack ’em up.
Best Pool Hall
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).