There is a long history leading back from the earliest days of billiards to the current proliferation of pool halls in the U.S. and Los Angeles. Started in the 15th century, billiards was originally a lawn game similar to croquet, but evolved as a game played inside on a table covered in green cloth. At that time, the balls were pushed into the pockets by wooden sticks called Maces. The other end was called the “queue,” which when used instead of the Mace mallet, became the “cue.” The main thing “the old days” and modern day pool halls situated all over the Los Angeles area have in common is that they bring people together to socialize in a fun way. No matter your age or gender, shooting pool is a great sport that anyone can do. While not everyone is skilled enough to compete at the expert level, most can master the game well enough to have fun doing it. All of these LA pool halls are considered “casual,” so you don’t need to dress up to have a good time.
Highland Park Billiards
5043 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Located in the Highland Park neighborhood, this pool hall has it all––great food, cheap beer, an eclectic mix of music on the juke box and an outdoor patio area to take a breather from a game that started to heat up. Don’t let the dive bar atmosphere or unkempt exterior fool you––this is a great place to shoot. After indulging in one of Highland Park Billiards’ delicious tacos, toss down a few pints of affordable beer and hit one of the many tables up for a few rounds with your close buddies.
House Of Billiards
1901 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
With 20 felt tables, drinking and pool playing is the name of the game at House of Billiards. Add in TVs for sports, a jukebox for tunes and some pinball for entertainment, and you have a serious pool room just outside of LA. If you’re really into billiards, jump in on league nights, which are hosted every Monday and Wednesday. You’ll find some reasonably priced beers on tap, so take advantage of the budget-friendly pitcher specials. Don’t forget to bring your cash, as no credit cards are accepted at this pool hall.
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11835 Wilshire Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
Most billiards enthusiasts will agree that Q’s has continued to be a great place to enjoy a couple cold ones with friends, catch a sports game and shoot some pool. For more than 20 years, Q’s has been the go-to neighborhood sports bar joint, and it’s kept many of its loyal patrons coming back since it first opened its doors. With relatively inexpensive food and drinks, lively music and a great atmosphere, it’s no wonder billiards players love coming here. You’ll find 12 pool tables, both upstairs and downstairs, individual TVs in the booths as well as large TVs over the bar and interspersed between the two floors. As an added bonus, the bar features 3 different outdoor spaces and hosts live DJs to entertain while you partake in a game of 8 ball.
224 N Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Charles Billiard is a typical billiards bar with plenty to choose from. What sets this bar apart from other pool halls is its Karaoke every Sunday night. That, and the fact that this billiards bar hosts more than 25 pool tables means Charles is a great neighborhood haunt for pool aficionados. Located just 15 minutes outside of downtown LA, this is a great place for a fun night, with inexpensive pitchers of cold beer and a good selection of appetizers. You’ll find that the pool tables and cues are all in fairly good condition, so there’s nothing to hinder your game (unless, of course, you indulge in a few too many beers). Overall, the vibe at Charles is laid back and cool. There’s meter parking on the street until 10 p.m., but you can also park behind the building.
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1000 Universal Studios Blvd.
Universal City, CA 91608
Jillian’s is a relatively small venue, but boasts a fun vibe and good ambiance. There are only three pool tables, but one is usually available when you walk in. Drink prices are reasonable for this type of place, which is conveniently located at Universal City Walk. If you get tired of pool, try your hand at any of the arcade games downstairs, or join in a game of bowling upstairs. There’s also karaoke dance parties every Thursday and Sunday.
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