For too long now London's Snooker Halls have been the dusty, dim hang outs of old men and sometimes dodgy night time strikers. More and more Londoners are looking to the snooker hall for a cheap alternative night out that doesn't have a door policy, is open till silly hours and is as chilled as you like.
Now don't be fooled, these places are not new, they are not 'trendy' burger touting establishments that have had their insides cleverly pilfered from old house and pub closing sales and scrap yards. They are the real deal. London's late night snooker halls that have been serving punters pool tables and beer for time.
More and more we find ourselves pricking our ears when someone talks about 'that place they found where they had to ring a bell'- not because it was a strict guest list policy or an 'experience' necessity but because there is no budget to put someone on a door and frankly, they want to be sure they are letting the right sort in. Many of these great places are overlooked or only known to locals so we wanted to outline a few for you.
There is of course Jono's in Camberwell that John touched upon last week.
"Covered in graffiti and dayglo rave posters, with its paint peeling it looks like it should have been shut down years ago. Granted, it’s not exactly inviting; there aren’t even any windows in the place, but don’t let that put you off."
It has a £2 price tag for entry and you'll need to ring the bell to let them know how many you are. They will open the door if they can accommodate your group size.
Efes Snooker Club in Dalston at 17 Stoke Newington Road is another option although it has currently lost it's booze license. The owner however has plans to turn this around pretty quick with an appeal so it will no doubt resume it's general state of affairs in no time.
This snooker club is a favourite for a few famous faces too, the likes of Peaches Geldof, Alexa Chung and Kelly Osborne like to hang out here from time to time.
The license was taken away from the venue because of " inadequate numbers of security staff, no staff training in crime prevention, no hourly checks on toilets, music played so loud it could be heard on the street with windows wide open, as well as allowing entry once the club was meant to be closed"
The security staff and toilet situation are not great but the rest we can easily deal with.
If you are after a late night game of snooker in North London, somewhere with really good value drinks and a real 'old school London' atmosphere is Cousin's Professional Snooker Club in Holloway. When you first go here it feels a little as though you don't want to look at anyone in the wrong way but what with the dim lighting that's not really an issue. You can barely see over the other side of the room anyway. Although it's run by nice people and the people in there are generally the same. Entry here is free.
We should stress that these are places with many regulars and none will take kindly to a disrespectful bunch of drunkards coming in at 4am wanting to scream the place down and dance around rather than having a few chilled games of pool.
If you really want modern option then there is the recently refurbished Hurricane Rooms in Kings Cross. There are great drink deals here (a 4 pint jug of carling for £12) as well as extra games including pool and darts. Settled on Grays Inn Road the place has just had a £500,000 redesign so it's all spanking new. You will need membership to go here but you can just set this up for a fiver.