Jeanette Lee was an Amsterdam Billiards waitress who, after her shifts, spent time at the tables. Flash forward: she is a world champion, known as “The Black Widow”. There are others at her level who play here: Thorsten Hohmann is one and you can watch him compete here.
I shot a half hour the other night, afterward chatting with David Padilla, the General Manager (himself no slouch at the rail). The best time to see the good and the really good, he told me, is Thursday night after (and sometimes during) league play. Mika Immonen and others have been known to show up. You can get some idea of what that is like by watching this video tour.
You don’t have to play to watch; there’s a popular bar, nice service, and soft couches to sit from which you can watch, ogle and hang out. It’s in the middle of the Village, so it can act as a meeting ground for activity elsewhere. David told me there is a real three cushion billiards parlour called Carom Café out in Queens. I haven’t been there yet, but after watching its WebCam feed, I will be going soon.
Back to Amsterdam, there are 25 – 9 foot Brunswick tables, Darts, Foosball, Ping Pong and food available. On the corner of 11th and Broadway, just south of Union Square.