The Drinker’s Guide to Indoor Sports


By The Editors
February 2, 2015 9:00 am

No matter the season, your cold one of choice is a dish best served with recreation.



A leisurely game of table tennis.

But whence the winter watering hole with room for all these unwieldy activities?

They’re out there, and we’ve compiled our favorites in this:

The Drinker’s Guide to Indoor Sports.

Game on.

If you dig balls of both the skee and pin varieties in a pretense-free establishment with cheap beer, this is your spot. Note: while they weren’t criteria, ACE nevertheless boasts a couple pool tables and darts as well.

Barcade – Flatiron
One of two new(ish) Manhattan outposts of a longtime Williamsburg fave. Fifty-plus arcade classics (Golden Axe! Double Dragon!) and a craft beer list to please even the most discerning suds snob. Bonus: surprisingly respectable pub grub.

Barcade – St. Mark’s
Same format as its westerly cousin, though with a different collection of consoles and specialty brews. Slightly younger crowd, too.

Crocodile Lounge
Rock solid dive boasting skeeball in the back, lively trivia nights, and, believe it or not, free pizza with every drink. No frills, but none necessary.

Fat Cat
A sprawling underground West Vill den with all manner of ping-pong, shuffleboard, pool and the occasional foosball table. Consider this your ADD gaming option. Bonus: live jazz.

Three reasons to visit “Handsome” Dick Manitoba’s namesake establishment: one, best punk rock juke in the city. Two, air hockey in the basement. Three, it may not be around a helluva lot longer.

Nancy Whiskey Pub
Cozy TriBeCa mainstay serving up frosty pints and games of bank shuffleboard since ’67. Crowded in the best possible way and the table gets well competitive.

Quite simply, ping-pong Xanadu. Full bar. No less than 17 tables. A roaming staff of ballboys sweeping errant shots from the floor and refilling tableside baskets. Reservations suggested.

Floyd, NY

“Bocce, bourbon and beer.” When a bar has this motto, you go to that bar. A court running the length of the room, super friendly barkeeps, and ice cold buckets of cans. What we call a win-win-win.

Hill Country BK
It would be worth a trip to HC’s downtown Brooklyn BBQ outpost just for the brisket. The fact that you can eat it while sipping Buffalo Trace and playing cornhole is just the icing on the cake.

Royal Palms
One-of-a-kind in NYC: a cavernous Gowanus warehouse converted to a Floridian shuffleboard paradise straight out of your bubbe’s dreams. Grab a tang, push a biscuit or two and embrace your inner retiree.

Union Hall
Sister bar of Floyd just around the bend in Park Slope featuring not one but two bocce courts for your tossing pleasure. Plus: stand-up comedy, movie screenings, and a full slate of live tunes.

The Brooklyn original that launched the franchise. Akin to its Manhattan counterparts, just tattoo-ier. Incidentally, also where our executive editor once threw a much-ballyhooed Ninento Wii tennis tournament.

Black Bear Bar
The best part about Black Bear isn’t the pool table in the back or even the Old Fashioneds on tap. It’s the massive skateboard bowl where BK’s most dedicated can be found ripping it up nightly. Pull up a stool and watch ’em shred.

Brooklyn Bowl
Classic pin alley it is not, but BK Bowl is the spot if you want to roll with guys like Q-Tip and Questlove DJing in the background. 

Full Circle Bar
These guys are not messing around with their skeeball: they’ve got a bona fide league going. Cans are cheap, crowd is boisterous. Great Sunday spot.

Classic pin alley this very much is: eight vintage lanes purchased for a song in Ohio, packed up and trucked to Williamsburg to be reassembled for America’s hippest bowlers. Full disclosure: high probability of spotting your correspondent here.

Randolph Brooklyn
You come to to this place for the stick-to-your-ribs grub (“pants optional” brunch in particular) and top-notch cocktails. You stay for the shuffleboard table and arguably best-looking crowd in all of Williamsburg.


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