The casual pool player faces a challenge. There are pool halls in town where sharks hone their intimidating skills (Mr. Cues Billiards II), and others where pool tables are an afterthought to the revelry (Northside Tavern). For players who fall in the middle—beginners, social types, and the tolerably competitive—the Independent in Midtown makes getting stuck behind the eight ball feel all right. Among the trappings: eight brightly lit tables, an online jukebox, Golden Tee, sports playing on flatscreens, and fried Twinkies. Smoking is allowed, but gambling isn’t (technically). 931 Monroe Drive, independentatlanta.com
This article originally appeared in our December 2014 issue.