From South Beach to edgy Wynwood to up-and-coming Downtown Miami, South Florida is brimming with neighborhood haunts and city bars in which to shoot a friendly game of pool or participate in a competitive tournament. Whether you still want to keep it chic and hip or you are an alternative and underground type, there’s a pool hall in your area just waiting to be discovered.
1234 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Squeezed among the usual SoBe crowded and famed clubs, the building where Chalk is located used to be a bank, hence the name of its VIP room: Vault. It is a fresh, unpretentious venue with no cover charge, but there are often lines to get in. Inside, Chalk is very streamlined: one simple industrial bar and two main rooms, one with ping pong tables, the other with pool tables. For a two bottle minimum, you can reserve the VIP room located all the way at the back of Chalk, giving you the privacy of a party within the party. Even better, an exclusive iPod dock is available to VIPs. Call it hip or upbeat, but you are sure to have a different South Beach experience. One warning: smoking is allowed here.
1811 Purdy Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Purdy Lounge has that perfect combination of dive bar and easy lounge with mismatched vintage couches and an immense pool table in the center of the main room. Head here to begin your South Beach night out with drinks and a pool game or go once the bars close, as Purdy is open until 5 a.m. No matter when you go once inside, pool is the center of everything at Purdy. While you’re shooting pool, enjoy live entertainment in the form of open mic nights, reggae night, or stop in on thirsty Thursdays for discounted drinks.
1685 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 672- 2000
Hotel Delano opened in the mid 90s as the last generation urban resort, an oasis in the middle of “America’s most energized gateway cities.” One of the most entertaining elements has since been the lobby that hosts quaint relaxing corners behind columns and sheer curtains. Locals mingle with hotel patrons at the Delano’s sushi and sake restaurant or beside the pool table located by the chic Rose Bar. Happy hour is the best time to play billiards and enjoy a martini while you’re at it.
5501 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137
Since 1979, Churchill’s has been located in the unpretentious Little Haiti neighborhood, providing a laid back vibe and plenty of entertainment for its patrons. Churchill’s is a quintessential dive bar where you can always expect to be served the best libations while shooting some pool on some well kept felt tables. Be ready for some loud live music and games broadcasted via satellite TV to keep you entertained while you play. There’s even a full-service laundry room open to the public. Just make sure to remember to grab your clothes from the dryer after you are taken away by the entertainment.
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Doral Billiards & Sports Bar
7800 NW 25 Street
Miami, FL 33122
(305) 592 – 8486
The name says it all, and although it is not located in one of the most traveled touristic paths, it’s where you speak the billiard lingo. This is the real deal for members of the United States Billiard Association who can play the 3-D “Carambola” Billiard for free every Monday. Come to Doral Billiards & Sports Bar to play on tables kept in mint condition, nibble on good food and listen to great music. In between games of cutthroat, mingle with patrons watching the game on one of the bar’s 16 HDTVs or five oversized screen projectors.
Midtown Sports Bar & Lounge
195 NW 36 St.
Miami, FL 33127
When in Buena Vista looking to be buzzed in a bar that serves beers for under two bucks, you don’t want a ritzy, posh space that makes you feel you should be wearing a sports jacket. Midtown Sports Bar & Lounge provides the feel of a dive bar with food and drinks at almost unbeatable prices (be sure to try the buffalo wings). Play some pool and listen to jukebox music to keep yourself entertained. Midtown offers free WiFi and private parking lot, which makes it easy when it comes to deciding where to go to spend some quality time with friends and watch your favorite sports team on oversized screen.
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Francesca Belluomini is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.