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In the spectrum of pool hall possibilities, Family Billiards is neither a luxury emporium nor a low-down hangout, but it duly provides 18 well-maintained tables in an environment that favors base functionality over fanciness or style. The warehouse-like space gives you what you need (e.g., clean playing surfaces, crisp lighting, cold beer) and, well, that's about it. But the prices are certainly right: the 4-7 p.m. daily happy hour offers all drafts (including Guinness and Stella Artois) for a mere $2.50, and ladies play free with paying partner on Sunday afternoons. For nocturnal gaming, Family stays open until 2 a.m. every night - and all the way until 4 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays - if you think you can handle the crowds of kids kickin' it to Top 40 jams on the digital jukebox.
Despite its cuddly moniker, Family Billiards delivers its share of that neo-noir Minnesota Fats ambience you crave when you're in the mood to shoot a little stick. There's the long, low-slung room, hidden away in a subterranean grotto off Geary Boulevard; the pools of lamplit green felt flanked by shadowy figures with cuesticks; the retro stools and raised benches for kibitzers, talent scouts, and other random spectators. In many other ways, however, the joint's positively dapper. The 18... More »