Best Pool Hall (2000)

Waugh Drive Pool Hall

The billiard cloth has long since faded to a lighter shade of green; the cues are sometimes as curved as an archer's bow, and a few tables are as level as a raked stage. The Waugh Drive Pool Hall is not about the tools of the trade. This Montrose institution -- 33 years of operation and counting -- is the kind of place where Charles Bukowski would have played pool. In short, it's a dive, and in a part of town that's being gentrified beyond recognition, that's enough for us. There's rarely a wait for a table, and even if there is, the beer's only $1.50 a bottle ($2 for "premium"), and the jukebox has all the best hits from the 1970s. Waugh Pool, as it's known among regulars (or at least the regulars we know), recalls a time when breaking balls was indeed a cheap form of entertainment, not one that required an ATM in the corner. Tables are a mere $5 an hour (regardless of the number of players). With a price like that, we can do without the mahogany tables, the mood lighting and the frat boys trying to imitate Tom Cruise from The Color of Money.