For nearly as long as people have been gathering in pubs and bars to consume the nectar of the gods, there have been pub games to keep them occupied. The ancient Romans had board games in their taverns, and, in 1495, Henry VII had to issue a statute restricting pub games because they were distracting Englishmen from practicing their archery.
Beer and games go hand-in-hand, so we’ve put together our favorite places where you can find the pair in healthy supply.
Kung Fu Saloon
Kung Fu operates under the idea that people like to drink while playing classic arcade games. They’re not wrong. This place has been a hot spot at Routh Street and Cedar Springs Road since it opened last summer.
Barcadia is the Deep Impact to Kung Fu’s Armageddon. It’s been around a little longer — 2007 — but it trades on the same nostalgia that many twenty and thirtysomethings have for the good old days of Street Fighter II.
Bryan Street Tavern
Bryan Street Tavern is a perfect dive bar in East Dallas. It’s surprisingly big and offers a large back patio, spacious main area and a couched TV space. But it’s on this list because you can take your pick of pool, shuffleboard and foosball. There’s nothing special going on here, but that’s what we love about it.
How does a sports bar stay open in Uptown for more than 20 years? By throwing a TV on just about every available inch of wall space and not getting too cute about anything else. The ability to play billiards on two tables makes it worth seeking out as you hit up the bars on McKinney Avenue. There’s also Big Buck Hunter and Golden Tee, as there should be.
The crowd at Milo’s really runs the gamut from probably-underage high schoolers to AARP members. Pitchers of beer are dirt cheap, and there are plenty of pool tables, plus there is space for darts, foosball, Golden Tee, Big Buck Hunter — you get the idea. Honestly, it makes us miss the fraternity house.
Dave & Buster’s
Hey, don’t laugh; the new D&B at Walnut Hill Road and Central Expressway is pretty nice. Nowhere else offers games on such a grand scale, and, in this new version, the focus is more on adults, which means you can catch the game from almost anywhere on the midway.
Well, this just seems obvious, doesn’t it? Billiard Bar on Lower Greenville has got the tables, but if the green (or, in this case, red) felt isn’t your style, there is still foosball, air hockey and darts. The beer is plentiful and cheapm and the crowd is an eclectic mix of the best of the neighborhood.
Okay, so this place only has one pool table, but hear us out. The Foundry has brought a bit of Austin to Bishop Arts, and its outdoor area is the perfect spot for wasting a sunny Saturday afternoon. Occasionally, it would behoove you to play a game of pool. It’s just a really cool bar, and having one table is enough to get it on this list. It’s fine if you disagree, but you’d be wrong.