1108 Broad Street, Durham
An aging paper sign taped to the wall inside the Green Room, Durham's venerable pool hall—featured, of course, in Bull Durham—reminds patrons that, as of July 1, 2009, smoking will no longer be permitted inside. Seven years on, this is an absolute shame. We're by no means endorsing smoking—a terrible, deadly plague peddled on the masses by rapacious corporations—or calling for the ban's repeal, which has done enormous good for North Carolina's public health. But every rule needs an exception. And no place cries out to be an exception quite like the Green Room, the divey institution where decades of cigarette smoke still seem to linger on the walls. It's the kind of place that demands a cold beer in one hand (the Green Room has a superior beer selection) and a cig in the other. It feels wrong to play pool any other way.