15 Great Bars for Fun and Games
Add a side of competition to cocktail hour at these bars, where fun and games pair perfectly with food and drinks.
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Clinton Hall: New York
With permanent locations in the Financial District and the Bronx, and a seasonal location in Manhattan's Seaport, this bar infuses fun throughout New York City. Activities include life-size chess, towering Jenga stacks, extra-large versions of Connect 4 and board games. The bar offers 20 beers and ciders on tap to go with 20 different burger combinations. Upgrade the side of fries to cheesy waffle fries, but be sure to save room for towers of dessert waffles.
Pinewood Social: Nashville
This social-gathering spot manages to be all things to all people, with a restaurant, coffee bar cocktail bar, sprawling patio — with a bocce court, two dipping pools and a thirty-foot Airstream trailer — and indoor six-lane bowling alley. Whimsical libations keep the mood lighthearted, like General Woundwort, a mixture of cognac, two rums, lime, carrot juice, ginger, and amaro; and the Pimm's Cup-esque River City Rally, with Pimm's #1, orange cordial, whiskey, ginger, strawberry and mint.
Greenleaf's Pool Room: Richmond, Virginia
This throwback to the pre-World War II era of pool halls is named for a 1920s billiards champion. Channel an older era with fresh cocktails, classic luncheonette food, local craft beers and an inviting retro design. Grab a cue and a cocktail named for various players of yesteryear. Greenleaf's namesake potable is a glorious riff on the Old Fashioned, with rye, gin and coffee syrup.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club: Brooklyn
The Spare Room: Los Angeles
Housed on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel along a series of flatiron-style arched windows, this tony gaming parlor and cocktail lounge is a nod to the 1920s, when wealthy families designed gaming lounges in their homes. Eschewing modern technology, two bowling alleys feature chalkboard scoring and turn-of-the-century mechanics; to play, bowlers wear handmade oxfords designed by George Esquivel. Dominoes, Scrabble, backgammon and Mad Libs are available to keep players occupied between frames, along with drinks like the Lucky Smoke, with whiskey, rum, banana liqueur, vanilla syrup and coconut bitters, garnished with a wrapped pandan leaf.
Punch Bowl Social: Denver, CO
The Corner Alley Downtown: Cleveland
Spin: New York City
Bundox Bocce: Reno
Urban Putt: San Francisco
Uptown Billiards: Portland, Oregon
Topgolf: Ashburn, Virginia
The Rook: Cincinnati
The city's first and only board-game parlor boasts more than 800 free-to-play games, including Sorry, Ticket to Ride and card games like Cards Against Humanity. Locally owned and operated, it opened in May of 2016 and quickly racked up best-of awards for its entertainment options. The menu of classic game-night foods includes pizza rolls and pretzels with beer cheese. Cocktails stick with the retro theme, including Pretty Pretty Princess, with cotton candy, a candy necklace, gold glitter, amaretto and sparkling wine, and Mrs. Peacock Mojito, with rum, lime, blueberries and mint.