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Jan 28, 2013 11:02 PM

Free pool tables in dive bars

Does anyone know dive bars with free pool (aka open tables)? My fave dive Bar Montenegro (formerly Miami) closed permanently a while back.

I heard Mad Hatters has free pool. Can anyone verify?

I'd prefer something closer to the Main, though.
Is it free at Barfly? (not that $6.50/pint is my idea of dive prices)
What about Piranha Bar?
Bar des Pins is only a buck.

Thanks for any info on these dives or ones I should know about. I know it's not exactly chowish, but google searches bring up swimming pools, pool halls, and pool tables for sale, and dives aren't known for their web presence.

(They're also endangered by all the condo dwellers moving in, sniff sniff.)

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  1. Brasserie Cherrier has free pool on Sundays. Then I'm not certain about "free" but there are pool tables at Le Boudoir, L'Inspecteur Epingle, Les Bobards, Frappé (once it gets it's liquor license back tomorrow), Verres Stérilisés, Foufounes Électriques, Bifteck, Vol De Nuit, and Le Mont Royal (although I my memory might not be 100%),

    Then while not "dive bars" per se, this map probably would be of interest to you.

    5 Replies
    1. re: EaterBob

      Brasserie Cherrier tables (other time than sundays) are 1 or 2$ a game (coin operated tables)

      However, since their renovations, i would hardly call this place a dive bar anymore

      1. re: westaust

        I used to live on Drolet, behind a block that included Brasserie Cherrier and a strip club. Cheap rents back then but also a lot of arson...

      2. re: EaterBob

        Thanks for the map, EaterBob. I considered Cherrier, but as westlaust noted it doesn't look divey anymore. Thanks for the tip on the free pool Sundays and the reminder about Vol de Nuit, I always forget about that place.

        I know about most of the ones you listed - I go to Bif and Foufs all the time. But I wanna put all my coins toward cheap beer and whiskey, plus I'm wondering if there are any real dives left, not the overrun with student versions (Hatters definitely falls in this category, and the regular beer prices are a joke. Bif is full of students of course but its dirt cheap and has its regulars... I miss Miami).

        Didn't know Frappe lost its license, btw. lol. What happened? Serving underagers or afterhours or both?

        1. re: Shattered

          Barfly has free pool, and before 9 p.m. the pints are still relatively cheap ($4.50, give or take a quarter).

      3. what is a 'dive' bar? Is it what we used to call a 'dive', ie a bit unsavoury?

        15 Replies
        1. re: williej

          yes. Dark, no decor, cheap. The odd daytime drunk in the corner.

          1. re: C70

            and drinking une "grosse Mol tablette"

            1. re: C70

              Indeed. Cock n' Bull and Bar Diana are other ones, but too far from me.

              Actually, it looked like Diana got a makeover last year...

              1. re: Shattered

       got a kind-of makeover with a chicken joint in the window and some new formica chairs to go with it, but its still a dive with all the same suspects.

                1. re: porker

                  Cool, I'll check it out. (I knew you'd chime in on this topic, btw :)

                  1. re: Shattered

                    I have a sweet spot for dives and/or old taverns cum brasseries...

                    Had this been 10 years ago, I might have been up on the pool thing.


                    Theres a beer hall/bar on Notre Dame two blocks west of Atwater, past the Green Spot, next to New System BBQ. I think its called Bar Notre Dame. Its been awhile, but I think they have pool tables in there (likely not free, but likely cheap).
                    When tired of playing pool and drinking their draft mosey 15 blocks or so further west to De Courcelles (corner Rue de Courcelles!), a friendly throwback from way back. I haven't been here for awhile either. They were closed for quite sometime, but was open for business when I passed about a month ago (no pool, but sometimes live music, sometimes theme nights....only thing is I don't go enough to figure out their scheduling).

                    1. re: porker

                      Bar De Courcelles sadly is a shadow of its former self. It was bought by the Campenelli folk and turned into a ironic-hipster bar. Same sort of "not quite original" decor as the new Square Dominion. Attracts a slightly younger crowd than the Burgundy Lion.

                      That all being said, it is a fine drinking establishment. Just not a dive bar. It belongs in the same group as Big in Japan 2, The Sparrow, Korova, Pullman, etc.

                      1. re: EaterBob

                        At least they kept some of the "divey" items at bar courcelles, the old wood chairs, still serve "quilles de biere - Labatt 50 on top of it" most of the decor

                        Been there a few times lately and found it much better than Drinkerie or Burgundy Lion, especially since there is room to breathe!

                        1. re: EaterBob

                          Thanks for the info...I guess THATS why its been closed for awhile.
                          These old places are becoming a thing of the past....

                          1. re: EaterBob

                            @ EaterBob: You sure you mean Korova in the same breath as upscale places like BIJ bar & Pullman and fairly nice pub like Sparrow? Korova is a cheap hipster-student bar, sort of a downscale indie dance bar, like Blue Dog or Vinyl.

                            Anyway, agree that it's sad these places are disappearing and what's left are becoming 'ironic' cool hipster dives. Man, I miss Miami.

                            Barfly is part of a dying breed for sure. Problem is, a dive imo also has lots of elbow room and dirt cheap beer. I'll take Bif even with the students over Barfly because I can always find room to sit and it's cheaper.

                            1. re: Shattered

                              My mistake. It's been a while since I've been to Korova.

                              1. re: EaterBob

                                Thank goodness! I thought Korova had been gentrified.

                            2. re: EaterBob

                              Once again, thanks for the heads up EaterBob.
                              Your reply really piqued my curiosity and we stopped in last weekend. You're right, totally different non-dive. More of a neighbourhood joint with ages all over the map. On the plus side: the bartender will go out of his way to make whatever cocktail you desire. On the negative side: it ain't the Courcelles of old (but whattyagonna do?).

                              Shattered, this may be useful, but then again, maybe not...
                              we stopped in the Chinatown Holiday Inn bar to have a few drinks before eating in the quartier chinois. They installed an old-fashioned, leather-pocket pool table - play for free (you ask the bartender for cues/balls). OK, not exactly the place you'd hang with your friends to shoot pool and not a dive, but it is free...

                              1. re: porker

                                That's pretty cool. I would've never thought of going there and it'll be nice to use a good table. Thanks!

                                1. re: Shattered

                                  "it'll be nice to use a good table"
                                  Perhaps my wording of "an old-fashioned, leather-pocket pool table" was slightly mis-leading.
                                  It is "old-fashioned" with large, carved legs, no quarter (or loonie) slots, no automatic cue-ball return, etc etc. Just a green felt table with leather pouch pockets, kinda like this
                                  However, it is also old; the felt is thin and worn (but not torn) and the cues are light-weight.
                                  Don't get me wrong, Mrs Porker and I had a fun 4 games over 2 drinks, but the table is not championship quality.

                                  As a side, they sometimes serve freebie snacks around suppertime. Usually just bar snacks (orintal mix or pretzels, etc). If you're lucky and happen to chat up the bartender during a quiet period, it *might* be more.
                                  But again, its a hotel lobby bar fronting a koy pond....not a Saturday night, let your hair down dive...

                2. Well it appears my best option was right under my nose all along: pool is only 75 cents at Bif. How did I never know that all these years? I guess I've just handed over change when asked and let my partner rack 'em without thinking about it. The tables and cues are shit, but hey. Dirt cheap pool, dirt cheap pints.

                  Thanks for the suggestions, I will still check some other places out for uh, dive variety.

                  1. Mad Hatters used to have free pool, but now they charge $1 per game. (fyi if anyone uses this thread in the future)